Historical information

The Children's Cottages at Kew were first opened in 1887 as the "Idiot Ward" of Kew Asylum. Located on the asylum's grounds, the children's cottages were established to provide separate accommodation for child inmates who had previously been housed with adult patients. Although the Cottages only admitted children as patients, many of those children remained in residence at the Cottages as adults. The function of the institution was to provide accommodation and educational instruction for intellectually disabled children. Some Wards of the State and other various "difficult" children were also admitted.Shortly after opening, the Idiot Ward began functioning separately from the Kew Lunatic Asylum, and became known as the Kew Idiot Asylum from 1887 until c.1929. From 1929 they have been known as the "Children's Cottages, Kew" or alternatively "Kew Cottages Training Centre". The institution was finally closed in July 2008. [Source: Wikipedia, 2016]


One of a series of framed historical photographs of the Kew Cottages that once formed part of the collection of the Kew Cottages Historical Society, founded by Dr. Cliff Judge and Fran Van Brummelen in the 1980s. The set contains both copies of originals in other collections such as the Public Record Office Victoria and photographs taken by Dr Judge for his books on intellectual disability in Victoria. The significance of the set of framed photographs is that they provide a curated collection of images of the development of the Cottages over a one hundred year period.

Physical description

Framed photograph, forming part of the Kew Cottages collection, donated by Kew Cottages Historical Society 1987-1993 in 1993. Dr. Judge was a consultant psychiatrist at the cottages for 14 years, as well as an author and vocal advocate for the intellectually disabled and their families.

Inscriptions & markings

"Kew Cottages - Group of 30 Men – Hospital Ward in Background. The Hospital Ward in the background."