Crown Street Women's Hospital

Crown Street Women's Hospital (now-closed) was once the largest maternity hospital in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was located at 351 Crown Street (corner of Crown and Albion Streets), Surry Hills.[2]

Crown Street Women's Hospital
Womens hospital albion street.jpg
Crown Street Women's Hospital
LocationSurry Hills, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Coordinates33°53′01″S 151°12′51″E / 33.883645°S 151.214133°E / -33.883645; 151.214133
Care systemPublic Medicare (AU)
Affiliated universityUniversity of Sydney
SpecialityWomen's hospital
Closed1983, services transferred to Westmead Hospital
ListsHospitals in Australia

The hospital was one of several stand-alone maternity hospitals in Sydney, none of which remain. It opened in 1893, and was closed in 1983. During its 90-year life, it trained hundreds of midwives and doctors, and was a teaching hospital of the University of Sydney. Many thousands of Sydney's residents were born there. When Westmead Hospital opened in Sydney's west, Crown St Hospital's maternity facilities were moved there, along with the general medical and surgical departments of Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street, and the hospital was closed.

The Canonbury annex was demolished around 1983, with the site redeveloped as part of McKell Park.[3]


Founded by Dr James Graham[4][5] in 1893, the Women's Hospital in Crown Street aimed to lift the medical standards for maternity care. In addition to providing wards for surgical cases and complicated births the Hospital provided treatment in homes. Initial funding of the Women's Hospital came from public subscription, obstetric nurse training and student fees, with assistance from the Government in obtaining furniture and surgical instruments. The Board of the Women's Hospital met for the first time on 13 August 1895. One of the Hospital's early achievements was providing instruction to women who had previously acted as midwives without any medical certification. On 30 October 1919 the Permanent Auxiliary Organisation was founded to centralise offers of assistance. Permanent Auxiliary Centres were opened at Abbotsford in 1933 and Bondi-Waverley in 1937. By its Golden Jubilee in 1943 Crown Street Women's Hospital had become the largest maternity hospital in New South Wales.

The hospital's nurseries were divided into five categories: D, Premature, Adoption, Founders Isolation and Main.

The Crown Street Women's Hospital was closed on 31 March 1983 and its facilities were transferred to Westmead Hospital.

Hospital history timelineEdit

  • Got the first president (Mary Windeyer)(1895)
  • Indoor Department (October 1896)
  • Teaching Hospital Status with the University of Sydney (1897)
  • Hugh Dixson Isolation Block (1909)
  • Parent Education (offered from 1915)
  • The Permanent Auxiliary Organisation was founded to centralise all offers of assistance received by the Hospital (30 October 1919)
  • Founders Block building was opened providing administrative offices, Resident
    Medical Officers quarters, labour wards, and operating theatre, recovery room, and nurses quarters (3 June 1930)
  • X-Ray Department (September 1935)
  • The Sterility Clinic was established 1938
  • Mobile Transfusion Service or "Flying Squad" (1939)
  • Crown Street Women's Hospital had become the largest maternity hospital in New South Wales (1943)
  • Diet Department (1947)
  • Canonbury at Darling Point was opened as annexe to the Women's Hospital (1947)[6]
  • During the 1940s and 1950s Founders Block building was remodelled as the gynaecology block of the hospital (1940-1950s)
  • Lady Wakehurst Annexe at Waverley was opened as post-operative care centre (January 1952)
  • Unit for the Research into the Newborn (1961)
  • Department of Anaesthesia (1963)
  • Intensive Care Unit (1966)
  • Ultra Sound Department (1971)
  • Sam Stening Intensive Care Annexe (December 1972)
  • Therapeutic Abortion Clinic opened. From 1975 women requesting abortions were seen in the Consultancy Clinic (1973 to 1975)
  • Aboriginal Nurse visits to postnatal patients (1976)
  • Birth Centre for natural childbirth (17 September 1979)
  • The Sterility Clinic was renamed as the Alan Grant Fertility Clinic (28 November 1979)
  • Lady Wakehurst Annexe was closed and redeveloped as a Hospital and Retraining Unit for Intellectually Retarded Young Adults. (1980)
  • Hospital closes and services transferred to Westmead Hospital (1983)
  • Canonbury buildings demolished and land reformed into McKell Park (1983)


  1. ^ "Crown Street Women's Hospital". Find and Connect. Govt.
  2. ^ "Crown Street Women's Hospital Guide". State Archives and Records. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Canonbury". Dictionary of Sydney. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Dictionary of Australian Biography G".
  5. ^ Caldwell, Margaret. "Graham, Sir James (1856–1913)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  6. ^ "ANNEXE TO CROWN STREET HOSPITAL". Construction. New South Wales, Australia. 7 May 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 6 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia.