What’s in a name?

Quite a bit if you’re Wolston House!

Many of our visitors are confused about the history of the house, simply because of its name. Just down the road from us is ‘The Park’, Centre for Mental Health which was previously known as Wolston Park.

Some of the misunderstandings people have include:

  • The house was the home of the hospital Medical Superintendant.
  • Dr Simpson (builder of Wolston House) gave the land for the hospital.
  • The house is named after the hospital.
  • We hold records of past patients.

So, here’s where we set the record straight!

Dr Stephen Simpson built Wolston House in 1852-3 on land intended for development as a horse stud. He named the estate after the village in Warwickshire where he was christened. He sold the property in 1860 and moved back to England.

In 1865 (or thereabouts) a hospital was built on Crown Land (possibly at one time leased by Dr Simpson) and was known as the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum. As Woogaroo later became Goodna, the hospital also had a few name changes, until, in the 1960s, it became known as Wolston Park Mental Hospital. And there’s the connection! One hundred years after Dr Simpson left the colony!

People do ask why we have old wheelchairs on the back veranda; that’s just to add to the confusion!