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One of the Art Society’s projects is the development of an Archive within its facilities dedicated to the memory of the former staff and residents of the Beechworth Asylum, also known in later years as the Beechworth Hospital for the Insane and Mayday Hills Mental Hospital. The Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum was the fourth such hospital to be built in Victoria, being one of the three largest. It was founded in 1867 and closed in 1995.


The asylum was surrounded by almost 106 hectares of farmland, making the hospital self-sufficient with its own piggery, orchards, kitchen gardens, fields, stables and barn. For recreation, the asylum included tennis courts, an oval and cricket pavilion, kiosk and theatre.


The Art Society’s Archivists, Dr David Lawrence and Dr Jenni Munday, are collecting photographs, books and records as well as preparing an oral history of the asylum and its people. They welcome any information you wish to share. Contact them at: or


The Art Society is fortunate to now have this wonderful exhibition on permanent display. It is the latest offering from Dr Jenni Munday and her co-researchers Ms Eileen Clark and Dr Alison Watts at Charles Sturt University. Collections showcases personal stories associated with Mayday Hills, including those of five WWI soldiers who subsequently became patients at the asylum. Some of the photographs on display were borrowed from private collections and from MDHAS and have been exhibited for the first time.

The Mayday Hills Asylun Archive_crop.jpg
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