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Old Hospital Complex


Shire of Augusta-Margaret River

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


27 Tunbridge St Margaret River

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Margaret Cecil Building, Nurses Quarters
Margaret River Resource Centre

Local Government

Augusta/Margaret River


South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1924, Constructed from 1990

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 08 Aug 2012
State Register Registered 06 Sep 1996 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 01 Jul 2012 Exceptional Significance

Exceptional Significance

Highly significant part of the cultural heritage of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River

Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Jun 1996 Criterion 3A

Criterion 3A

RESEARCH VALUE: It has demonstrable potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the natural or cultural history of the local district.

Statement of Significance

The following is an extract from the Heritage Council of WA’s Assessment Documentation for the place: Old Hospital Complex, comprising: the Hospital Building (1924), the Doctor's Surgery (1925), Margaret Cecil Rest House (1929) and the Nurses' Quarters (1929); all timber framed buildings clad with Jarrah weatherboard and roofed with corrugated iron; other ancillary buildings and bushland setting, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
• the place forms an historical precinct which facilitates an understanding of the development of the region;
• the place is representative of buildings constructed during the period of the group settlement era;
• the place reinforces the image of Margaret River and represents a link with the original character of a town in a forest; and,
• Margaret Cecil Rest House is of historical importance for its close association with the provision of services to women who pioneered the development of the south-west in the 1920s.

Physical Description

The following description is based on extracts from the Heritage Council’s Assessment documentation for the place. A more detailed description of the place and its component parts is available at There are seven single storey buildings within Old Hospital Complex. Three of the earlier buildings face Tunbridge Street and the other buildings are grouped in an informal manner behind. Old Hospital Complex comprises:
• the Hospital Building [1924], - a single storey weatherboard cottage costing £1,100
• the Doctor's Surgery and Residence [1925], - a four room cottage built for Dr Rigby
• Margaret Cecil Rest House [May 1929], - a single storey weatherboard cottage which cost £1,200 funded by the 'Margaret's of Britain'
• the Nurses' Quarters [December 1929]
• alterations [1930s] to the hospital building added an operating theatre and dining room wing
• the matron's residence [1930s] included additions to the nurses quarters • several additions to the Hospital and Margaret Cecil Rest House occurred but no details are available, this includes the morgue, orderlies room and drying shed
• alterations [1951] added a children's ward to the main building
• alterations [1965] added toilet facilities to the main building
• the laundry building [early 1970s] is a red brick, flat roofed building that replaced an old laundry of which no details are available
• alterations [1975] to the hospital building added a birth suite and boiler room
• alterations [1975] to the Margaret Cecil building added ablutions and other facilities for permanent care of the aged
• alterations [1993] to all buildings occurred to facilitate community usage
The Hospital building (west), the Doctor's Surgery (centre) and Nurses' Quarters (east) were all built with a similar (7.5 - 9 metre) setback from Tunbridge Street, with the Margaret Cecil Rest House , laundry, drying shed and morgue all located behind (south) the hospital building.
The four main buildings (Hospital, Surgery, Nurses Quarters and Margaret Cecil Rest House) and the morgue are similar in style and construction to other buildings from the group settlement era which used local jarrah for framing, flooring, weatherboards and skirtings. Roofs are galvanised iron and internal wall linings are either plasterboard, masonite or cement sheeting with battens. The style of the buildings could best be described as 'Victorian-Federation Carpenter Bungalow' although the economy in construction of the original buildings and the naivety of the builders construction technique produced a vernacular that has either deleted or modified the usual features of this style.


In 1922, following the establishment of a group settlement in the Margaret River district, the local Progress Association approached the Health Department on the subject of securing a doctor for their district, as the nearest medical aid was Busselton. In order to facilitate this, a medical scheme was established whereby settlers contributed one shilling per week.
Before a medical officer was appointed the local MLA, Mr Pickering, approached the Health Department to discuss a hospital for the district. The department agreed to provide a hospital on a pound for pound basis, but advised that first the district must establish a medical officer. In August 1923, Dr Rigby was appointed as District Medical Officer and not long after the Health Department had their principal architect draw up plans for a weatherboard cottage hospital. The estimate submitted by the architect was for ₤1100 and the building of the hospital was completed in May 1924.In December 1929, additional nurses’ quarters was provided, a new dining room was added in the 1930s, as well as an extra bathroom for nurses, an operating theatre accommodation and sterilising facilities. These additions were funded by the Lotteries Commission, State Government and the community.An important addition to the hospital occurred in 1929. This was the Margaret Cecil Rest House, which was built at the rear of the hospital. The rest house was named for Lady Alicia Cecil and her daughter, Margaret, who upon visiting the district found the facilities for pregnant women inadequate. When Lady Alicia and Margaret returned to England, Margaret sent out an appeal to the ‘Margarets of Britain’ to support a fund for a Rest House in Margaret River. In her letter she voluntary effort these rest houses have been built in other Group Settlement centres. If the Margarets of England and Scotland would build the one in Margaret River, not only would it be the greatest help to the mothers, but it would be a tangible link of Empire which Australians would appreciate and it would make the families feel that those in the old country had not forgotten them.Money was also raised by card evenings and the sale of some of the water colours done by Margaret Cecil.Trustees were appointed in the Margaret River district to oversee the building of the rest house and the expenditure of funds, and a committee of ladies was organised to raise funds and maintain the building. The house was furnished and fully equipped, linen, blankets were sent from England, as well as a complete monogrammed dinner set, books and a gramophone. Even during the war years Margaret Cecil (later Mrs Lane) sent food parcels for distribution, and continued her association with the Rest House until her death in 1963.By the 1960s it was realised that a new hospital building was required. After much discussion between the government, the hospital, the shire and community groups – lasting nearly three decades – work finally commenced on the new hospital in 1989.The Margaret River Community Resource Centre Inc. had its genesis in theMargaret River Community Resource Centre (Inc) at 1 Station Road, Margaret River. It was established in 1985 to service the region’s high proportion of pensioners, unemployed, single parents, children and community groups, the vast majority of whom are women. However it soon became apparent that the resources were inadequate to meet the needs of one of the fastest growing areas of Western Australia.
A group of 40 people, including representatives of the community resource centre and 12 other community groups, formed the resource centre in January 1990 with the purpose of obtaining and maintaining the soon to be vacated old hospital site in Tunbridge St, for community purposes. After much negotiation with various government bodies the old hospital site was secured under a vesting order to the Augusta/Margaret River Shire for community purposes on 7 February 1991. The resource centre in fact began leasing the site from the interim responsible body – the South West Development Authority – on 1 September 1990. On 26 June 1991 the community resource centre and the resource centre were amalgamated. The new resource centre rents the site from the Shire Council.


Medium: The use has been altered, but the original use is still evident through interpretation of the fabric.
Medium: The place has had some alterations, but the original intent/character is still clearly evident


Good *Assessed from streetscape survey only


Name Type Year From Year To
Linton Hodsdon Architect - -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Municipal Heritage Inventory 1996
Old Hospital Complex, Margaret River (03314) HCWA Assessment Documentation
Cresswell, Gail J, The Light of Leeuwin: the Augusta/Margaret River Shire History The L Augusta/Margaret River Shire History Group 1989

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
MR(T)-13 MI Place No.
A4947 LGA Site No.

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
3798 Conservation Plan for the Old Margaret River Hospital Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1997
11872 The Old Margaret River Hospital Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2021

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use HEALTH Housing or Quarters
Present Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Other Community Hall\Centre
Original Use HEALTH Hospital

Architectural Styles

Federation Bungalow

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall TIMBER Weatherboard

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities

Creation Date

09 Feb 1993

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Apr 2021


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.