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Rivendell blooms

The first large scale flower show to be held in Inner West Sydney will be happening this month with the inaugural Rivendell Flower Show.

The event will be held in the beautiful grounds of Rivendell, formerly known as the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, and will bring together displays by floral designers and gardening personalities, along with a range of other activities celebrating the pleasures of gardening.

The Rivendell Flower Show will be held over two days, 23 to 24 September 2017. All funds raised by the event will go towards Concord Hospital’s Department of Geriatric Medicine for the establishment of a gymnasium for the Strong@Concord program.

The photograph, above, shows the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital in 1911.

Open day at Rivendell

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The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Rivendell this month to allow people the chance to visit this magnificent historical building.

For over 120 years the building has provided support to those in need of medical care, first as the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, named in honour of Thomas Walker who bequeathed funds to establish it, and since 1979 as a special facility which focuses on the psychological health of young people and their families.

The photograph shows some of the workmen employed in constructing the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital and their families before the building opened in 1893. Skilled Italian masons were brought to Australia specifically to work on the building.

The open day will be held on Sunday, 26 July 2015 from 9.30am to 2pm, for details contact the City of Canada Bay Heritage Society.

Open day at Rivendell

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The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Rivendell this month to allow people the chance to visit this magnificent historical building.

For over 120 years the building has provided support to those in need of medical care, first as the Thomas Walker Covalescent Hospital, named in honour of Thomas Walker who bequeathed funds to establish it, and since 1979 as a special facility which focuses on the psychological health of young people and their families.

The photograph shows the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital soon after opening in 1893. The elaborate ‘Dutch Tower’ watergate has recently been fully restored.

The open day will be held on 27 July 2014 from 9.30am to 3pm, for details contact the City of Canada Bay Heritage Society.

A stately home of Rest

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On his death in 1886, Thomas Walker of Yaralla left a legacy of £100,000 to build a convalescent hospital on 13 hectares of land at Rocky Point on the Parramatta River.

The Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital was designed by noted architect Sir John Sulman and opened in September 1893. Some 70, 000 patients convalesced at the hospital from the time of its opening until the 1970s, including servicemen from both World Wars. One of the more famous patients was writer Henry Lawsonwho described it as ‘a stately home of Rest’ in his poem The Unknown Patient.

In 1979 control of the hospital was transferred to the NSW Department of Health which has used it as a facility which focuses on the psychological health of young people and their families. It was renamed Rivendell, a name taken from Tolkien’s The Hobbit where it features as a place of rest.

Rivendell has appeared in several films, including Flirting, The man who sued God, Lorenzo’s Oil and, most recently, The Great Gatsby.