The pathway into the T. Walker Hospital.
We came to know this beautiful building by accident when we were on a Weekend Getaway at the Brays Bay Reserve Park one sunny afternoon two years ago after our lunch at the Hurricane Grill restaurant at Top Ryde City, Sydney.
On the southern bank of the Parramatta River travelling west towards the Olympic Games site at Homebush Bay is this imposing red brick building nestling behind the mangroves and spacious lawns. This is now called the Rivendell Adolescent Unit formerly the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital.
The Thomas Walker building.
This spectacular building adorning the Parramatta River was built as a convalescent hospital by philanthropist Thomas Walker in the late 19th century and designed by John Sulman in the Queen Anne style, internally reflecting the influence of Florence Nightingale on 19th century hospital organisation, as well as its grounds are an intact example of older style institutional gardens.
The Hospital and its associated buildings and landscape form a vital part of the Parramatta River foreshore. The hospital has an outstanding sense of place, dominating the immediate part of the river.
The construction of the building was during the 1890 to 1893 and the hospital was opened on 21 September 1893 and was used for convalescence until World War II.
A closer view of the building.
When I first saw this building, all I wanted to do was to take many photos as much as I can and in many different angles as I can imagine. Well, I did have many photos taken including those smaller buildings built inside the compound. It has too a neatly manicured lawns and shrubs around. The air coming from the river contributes a lot better for a more relax and invigorating environment. Early morning and late afternoon are surely the finest times of the day to enjoy the best world in this place. The Convalescent Hospital is one of only two to have survived from the 19th century and is architecturally spectacular.
One of the hallways at the ground level.
The wharf at the Parramatta river.
Photo taken during our trip to Manly.
This is the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge that connects the Sydney central business district and the north shore and is the iconic image of Sydney. During Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, fireworks are positioned and fired below or around the bridge. Guided tours are available for those who wish to walk on top of the bridge; this is one of the many attractions of the bridge.
A closer look at the bridge.
History, records that there was a dramatic events involved during the planning and construction of the bridge, and so the people were so ecstatic during the construction and later celebrated the moment of its final or time it was finished. Also, at the cutting of the ribbon during the formal opening, there was a man with a sword who rode a horse, grabbed the moment and cut the ribbon before the New South Wales Premier at that time could do so. The ribbon was retied and the Premier did cut again the ribbon after the military man was arrested. It was formally opened on Saturday, 19th March 1932.
Another close up photo.
Sydney is dotted with old and new buildings, standing laterally and vertically the high rise buildings symbolize modern architecture. The old buildings fascinate me more that the new ones because the former includes some form of arts in their architectural designs mostly in human forms or animal sculptures usually fronting or added at the roof tops. The new ones have a unique style that our modern architecture holds and portray a design that evolves every now and then.
Here are some photos of the buildings I took that make up the Sydney central business district busy as ever, some areas of which the old and new ones stand side by side to each other.
The RPA hospital fronting the road.
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital or RPAH is one of the oldest hospitals in NSW and the largest hospital in the Sydney Local Health District, with approximately 700 beds (circa 2005). Here, an Australian television documentary, RPA, is filmed there and depicts the everyday workings of a major metropolitan hospital.
As seen at the rear section of the building.
I came to know about this hospital in their series of television shows depicting stories of patients to doctors’ treatments of major and serious health issues, then during the winter of last year when a friend was admitted to this hospital for serious medical treatment. The building is huge, is the major public teaching hospital in New South Wales, and also the home to the largest volume of medical research undertaken within NSW.
Just click the link included here to learn more about the RPA hospital.
One of the lobbies inside the hospital.
Another simple bridge located in Winsor beside the Hawkesbury River, recently built and named after Private Luke Worsley, born in Winsor who was killed in action in Afghanistan in late November 2007. Took this photo December last year while on our way to the Sandsculpting Championship in Winsor, New South Wales.
Luke Worsley Bridge
A Winsor lad killed in action while on duty in Afghanistan.
Hampden Bridge at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales
This is the Hampden Bridge in Kangaroo Valley a two hours’ drive from Sydney or Canberra between the South Coast and Southern Highlands. The bridge is wonderfully attractive because of its built and the most photographed in the country. It is the longest suspension bridge built across the kangaroo river and arguably one of the most important examples of bridge engineering heritage in Australia, second only to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The plate that recorded Hampden Bridge’s past.
As recorded, construction began in 1895 and the bridge was opened on the 19 May 1898, just six days before floods washed the old bridge away, a just in time engineering feat for the community.
We were here for a weekend getaway two years ago with some friends and had a night slept at the Kangaroo Valley Glenmack Park’s cabins.
The longest suspension bridge in the country.
The Cataract Dam, New South Wales
We were ecstatic when we saw this dam, old yet huge, strong and picturesque and my first time to see a dam such as this one, a 56 metre high holding water from a 130 square kilometer catchment forming an 850 hectarelake with a capacity of 94,300 megalitres which was built and completed in 1907.
The Cataract Dam is the first and oldest of the great dams of the Upper Nepean River, tamed to provide water for the growing population of Sydney.
The dam wall itself is actually of primitive construction (monolithic sandstone blocks blasted out of the surrounding cliffs) combined with then modern concrete technology for the facings. Primitive as it is but attractive and now often visited by people and because of its popularity, it was then provided with sufficient picnic facilities.
A closer view of the Dam
At the picnic grounds are over 30 barbecue areas; 40 tables with benches; 3 undercover areas with BBQs, tables, hot and cold water for up to 40 people each; 3 clean and modern toilet blocks (paper supplied!) plus disabled facilities; a modern children’s playground; heaps of garbage and recycling points; and acres of lawns for the kids to play on.
We were here summer time two years ago with some friends after our visit to the Bulli beach not far from here.