Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cadogan House, Nundah

One of the issues many of us face as we grow older is the increasing number of medical appointments. It's in this capacity that I had my first-ever visit to Cadogan House at Nundah, a marvellous mock-Tudor style structure on Sandgate Rd that is the site of a number of medical suites.

The name sounded vaguely Scottish to me and I thought (incorrectly as it turns out) that it may have been named after one of the various Earls of Cadogan. The current Earl Cadogan happens to be one of the wealthiest men in Britain, having huge real estate assets including owning a large proportion of London. Surely It wouldn't have been impossible for one of his wealthy forebears to have purchased real estate in the Antipodes? No, the answer is a far more practical solution than that.

The building was constructed during 1933 as the Nundah Private Hospital. The BCC heritage pages tell us that it was owned by three nurses - Misses Barclay, Bourne and Bell. The hospital originally had facilities for 30 patients together with accommodation for staff, but was subsequently enlarged in 1937.

Here is the announcement of the completion of the building as reported in the The Courier-Mail of 15 December 1933:


A striking Illustration of the development of Brisbane's suburbs is afforded at Nundah, where a new private Hospital in brick and concrete has been erected. Its design and equipment are most modern. The Nundah Private Hospital, at the corner of Sandgate Road and Oliver Street, Nundah, occupies a situation in the heart of a suburb which is of comparatively recent growth, and its erection indicates faith in the newer settlements of Brisbane.
This building, which has a frontage of 100 feet to Sandgate Road and a depth of 80 feet is two-storeyed, the ground floor being of brick, and the upper floor being carried out in timber frame with a rough-cast exterior. The roof is tiled. The ground floor is devoted to single and double rooms for the accommodation of 30 patients, and on the upper floor is accommodation for the hospital staff. The building has been designed to ensure the maximum comfort of the patients, the rooms being well ventilated, and most of them open on to wide verandas.On the ground floor, also, are the kitchen quarters, and a special wing contains the operating theatre (with anaesthetic room adjacent), sterilising room, obstetric ward, and nursery. The interior construction is in plaster. Large windows to the north give the maximum of natural lighting to the operating theatre, and the long corridors, which catch the prevailing breezes, ensure adequate natural ventilation. The floors are polished hardwood.The installations include a large boiler for the supply of hot water to all parts of the hospital, an electric light and bell system, a steam drying laundry cupboard, and an electric washing machine.A special feature is a separate ambulance entrance, which enables ambulance cars to shelter under a porch connecting the street frontage with the main corridor.The design and supervision were in the hands of Mr. C. B. Plant, architect, and the building contractor was Mr. B. J. Bartlett.   A large portion of the building material, including bricks and quantities of hardware, were supplied by James Campbell and Sons, Pty. Ltd. James Hardie and Co. Pty. Ltd. were the suppliers of Pibrolite, which was used in the construction of the main gable and the laundry block.
(Source: Trove via   

The hospital closed in 1967 and it then was purchased by Dr Newton Chalk, a local paediatrician. It was Dr Chalk who named the building Cadogan House after one of the pioneers of paediatrics, William Cadogan. Dr Chalk saw the need to bring medical services closer to where people lived - the suburbs - rather than being concentrated in one central location at Wickham Terrace in the city. He arranged for general practitioners, specialists and pharmacies to lease rooms in the building, thus providing convenient access to these facilities without journeying to the city.

That logic continues today with Cadogan House containing a wide range of medical and specialist health services. The building was refurbished in 2002 and has recently been purchased by a wealthy private investor (not Earl Cadogan!) for just under $4.5 million.  

Click here for a Google Map. 



  1. Welcome back ... always interesting stories.

    1. Thanks Blair. A rather longer break thaan anticipated butit's good to be back in the saddle.

  2. I had never heard of Dr Cadogan until my husband thought of doing paediatrics in Britain. Cadogan was a man who was made a consultant physician to the Bristol Infirmary back in the mid 18th century and something of a hero to Joe's consultant back in the day. I suspect that was as much because of Cadogan's good finances and very well connected society, as it was about his contribution to medical knowledge.


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