OLD HOSPITAL HERITAGE RECOGNITION
The Old Hospital Heritage Precinct was graded in 2012 with Exceptional Significance, being a “highly significant part of the cultural heritage of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River”.
WA Heritage council register of heritage places: Site 3314 Listed in 1996
The 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.
For the full listing view the WA Register of Heritage Places
Amr shire municipal heritage Inventory: Site MR (T) - 13
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. The Old Hospital Complex comprises:
- the Hospital Building  – a single storey weatherboard cottage costing £1,100
- the Doctor’s Surgery and Residence  – 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 ‘Margarets 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  added a children’s ward to the main building
- alterations  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  to the hospital building added a birth suite and boiler room
- alterations  to the Margaret Cecil building added ablutions and other facilities for permanent care of the aged
- alterations  to all buildings occurred to facilitate community usage.
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.
Opening of the Margaret Cecil Rest Home at the Margaret River Hospital in 1929.
Photo: C. Slater. Source: MRDHS Item 271.