Larundel Staff remembrance walk

Grange Boulevard, Bundoora

Larundel Staff remembrance walk

Grange Boulevard, Bundoora

28 m
1.89 km

Streets here are named after former staff of the Larundel Mental Hospital, which operated on this site from the 1950s until and 1990s. Some buildings remain.

Larundel Staff remembrance walk

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Streets here are named after former staff of the Larundel Mental Hospital, which operated on this site from the 1950s until and 1990s. Some buildings remain.


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'The former Larundel Mental Hospital site has several streets named after Larundel Doctors, Nurses, a Chaplain/Counsellor and an Occupational Therapist.

The Gresswell Grange Estate commemorates Dr Dan Gresswell (1853 – 1904) who was born and educated in the UK and travelled to Australia. He was appointed the Medical Inspector for the new Victorian Board of Public Health in 1889. He tenaciously championed public education in preventative practices, to ensure the containment and eradication of TB and other infectious diseases of the time.

Only a few of the Larundel Wards have been preserved and are currently still being refurbished, as community spaces and private accommodation. This Heritage Walk is bounded by Grange Boulevard to the north and east, and Plenty Rd and Main Drive, which approximately represents the area formerly occupied by Larundel.

The Hospital structures were designed largely by Percy Everett, the Victorian Public Works Architect in the 1930s-1950s. Tudor Revival style buildings of red brick with terracotta tile roofs and half-timbered projecting gables were built. After WWII more austere cream brick 2-storey Wards were added.

The imposing L-shaped Larundel Hospital faced Plenty Road and this is still being refurbished. Acutely ill patients were cared for in the Hospital. The rear of the 2-storey ‘Receiving Ward N2’ faces onto Gonella (sic) Crescent in the Walk. This building was completed during WWII. It was for convalescing and non-acute patients with mental ill health.

Thousands of patients were cared for by hundreds of staff over the 40 years in which Larundel operated. Friendships among staff have been enduring and the work ethic of the staff was respected and acknowledged. Larundel and the other Mont Park facilities were mysterious and disturbing as Asylums on the outskirts of Melbourne, but they were essential in the era before medication and the social change to ''de-institutionalisation'' of these patients.

Many townhouses and apartments are present now in the area near Plenty Road. and the Polaris shopping centre. However, the Walk tracing the commemorative streets is mainly past modern stylish homes with attractive front gardens. Tracts of parkland throughout, and the original Larundel Oval provide green, recreational spaces. The picturesque wetlands on Moonstone Walk afford an interesting rest stop half way through this Heritage Walk.
We hope you enjoy your walk.

Mont Park to Springthorpe Heritage Group

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Points of Interest

1. Barlow Rise at the corner of Grange Boulevard

Dr David Barlow lived with his family in Larundel staff accommodation and was very well respected, contributing to the Larundel activities even acting in Pantomimes with other staff and patients

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2. Gonella (Gonnella) Crescent

Joanna Gonnella worked at Larundel for over 20 years and was a Charge Sister. She is one of the only Larundel women commemorated with a street name. Together with Dr Barlow they 'ran a tight ship'.

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3. Old Larundel Hospital building

Some of the hospital buildings are being refurbished as homes and this building was one of the North Wards. Some of the patients were chronically ill and others had short mental ill health episodes.

4. Joanna Gonnella - Crescent to Larundel Walkway

Head down Gonella (sic) Cres then through the Larundel Walkway, a quiet area of trees and gardens, back to Barlow Rise.

5. Continue down Barlow Rise to the roundabout

A further picture of some of the Larundel Buildings shows how substantial they were with roads connecting the Wards and other facilities on the very large site. The Larundel oval is west of here.

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6. Di Palma Place is named after Lupo Di Palma

Lu Di Palma was in one of the many male nurses who worked at Larundel. The nurses generally have fond memories of their colleagues and of their time of caring for the many hundreds of patients.

7. Sanctuary Drive to Oldmeadow Ct

Dr Donald Oldmeadow was a psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer at Larundel in the 1960s. He had served in WWII and lived a fruitful life. His reports always noted the caring staff at Larundel.

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8. Bircanin Close is on your left

We will return via Bircanin Close. Iliya Bircanin was an Occupational Therapist at Mont Park and Larundel for over 20 years. Continue down Sanctuary Drive to the park on Main Drive.

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9. Along Main Drive to Grange Boulevard

After a rest in the park wander up Main Drive to Grange Boulevard, past the La Trobe University Wildlife Reserve, to the beautiful ponds on Moonstone Walk. Here you can see waterfowl, ducks and coots.

10. Waterways on Moonstone Walk

This quiet retreat backs onto the picturesque Strathallan Golf Course, which is surrounded by the Gresswell Reserves. The Larundel complex had an orchard near here and a farm with pigs and cows.

11. Head north to Silverdale Rise and Greenstone Place

This leads back to Bircanin Close which is named after the OT Iliya Bircanin. Iliya and Alex Short published a book of the history of the Mont Park/Larundel site with maps, photographs and anecdotes

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12. Through the Gresswell Grange Reserve Park

Follow Bircanin Close up to the beautiful house on the corner to the west, and head through the Gresswell Grange Reserve Park, past the possums guarding the play equipment!

13. Kahans Place

The smallest street in the Gresswell Grange Estate commemorates one of the most colourful psychiatrists at Larundel, Dr Daniel Kahans. He was an innovative music therapist and gifted cello player.

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14. Walk up Kahans Place to Lelean Close

Reverend Drew Lelean was a counsellor and chaplain for 25 years at Larundel and other hospitals at Mont Park, working successfully with mentally ill patients. He still lives in Macleod now aged 91.

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15. Lelean Close continues past the Grassy Woodland Reserve

At this stage you retrace your steps into Barlow Rise near where you started your Walk in some of the commemorative streets of the former historic Larundel Hospital site.

16. Back in Barlow Rise to Grange Boulevard

After the Gresswell Grange Estate, you may fancy the Heritage Walk tracing the remaining renovated Larundel Hospital buildings including the former men's South Wards on Zenith Rise behind Polaris.

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Seating available Seating available
Historical interest Historical interest
Park / Garden Park / Garden