Ormond House, more commonly known as Juniper Hall, is a historic mansion on the corner of Ormond Street and Oxford Street in Paddington that was built in 1824. It has a long history as an institution for children. It served as the first Asylum for Destitute Children run by the Society for the Relief of Destitute Children (1852-1858). The Deaf and Dumb Institution was located there from 1868 until 1872. From 1881 until 1923 Ormond House was owned by the State Children's Relief Board and was the Central Depot, Shelter and stores. The first Metropolitan Children's Court (1905-1912), Hillside Home for Mothers and Babies (1915-1920) and Hillside Training Home (1920-1923) were all in Ormond House.
Juniper Hall dates from 1824 and is the oldest grand mansion in Sydney. It was built as Juniper Hall by Robert Cooper, a gin distiller. The house was renamed Ormond in 1848 to distance it from its associations with Cooper's trade. Ormond House/Juniper Hall was located at 1 Ormond Street on the corner of Oxford Street, Paddington
As Ormond House, the building was leased to the Society for the Relief of Destitute Children in 1852, becoming the first Asylum for Destitute Children. Up to 400 children lived in the Asylum at any given time. The Asylum moved to Randwick in 1858.
The Deaf and Dumb Institute was located at Ormond House from 1868 until it moved to Newtown in 1872. Ormond House then passed through a number of tenants before being bought by the New South Wales Government for use by the State Children's Relief Board in 1884.
From 1884 until 1923 Ormond House was the Central Depot for the State Children's Relief Board. It was a shelter and transit point for children moving between foster homes (boarding out), institutions and apprenticeships. It also served as the first Children's Court and held Hillside Home for Mothers and Babies and Hillside Training Home for Girls. Many thousands of children would have passed through the doors of Ormond House over the 40 years it was used by the State Children's Relief Board.
When the State Children's Relief Board changed its name to the Child Welfare Department in 1923 Ormond House stopped serving these functions and most of its activities were moved to Bidura and Royleston, at Glebe.
Ormond House was renamed Juniper Hall after World War II and converted to offices. Housing was built in some of the gardens. In 1983 it was purchased by the National Trust and restored. It served as a museum of childhood, offices and an artists' community before it was sold to the Moran family, descendants of Robert Cooper, in 2012. In 2013 it was open as an art gallery.
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the State Children's Relief Department, W.A. Gullick, Government Printer, Sydney, 1881-1893; Report of the State Children's Relief Board, W.A. Gullick, Government Printer, Sydney, 1894-1920. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; 'History', in Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, 2012, http://www.ridbc.org.au/history; 'Juniper Hall', in State Heritage Register, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 2012, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=5045231; Chancellor, Jonathan, 'Sydney's Moran family takes the prize as National Trust offloads Juniper Hall for $4.5 million', Property Observer, 26 September 2012, http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/new-south-wales/sydney-s-moran-family-takes-the-prize-as-national-trust-offloads-juniper-hall-for-$45-million/2012092556804; Ludlow, Christa, 'For their own good' : a history of the Albion Street Children's Court and Boys' Shelter, Network of Community Activities, Surry Hills, 1994, 47 pp; Oates, Justine, 'Historic Juniper Hall for sale', Wentworth Courier, 27 August 2012, http://web.archive.org/web/20120829002119/http://www.news.com.au/realestate/selling/historic-juniper-hall-for-sale/story-fndbawks-1226458809842.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 December 2013, Last modified: 29 July 2015