THE old Royal Derwent Hospital morgue looks set to become Australia’s most unusual bed and breakfast. The mortuary is at the corner of George and Humphrey Sts in the Willow Court section of the old hospital. The 1960s-era building has been closed for more than a decade.
A large section of the Willow Court site is owned by Hadyn Pearce and ABC TV news tonight reported that his latest idea for the property is to offer accommodation in the old morgue. Mr Pearce owns the nearby Willow Court Antiques in what was once O Ward or Olga House, as well as the Willow Court Motel in what was originally M Ward and later Myrtle/Alcheringa House. Mr Pearce also rents rooms to a growing number of businesses in the former Willow Court Nurse’s Home. The Patchwork Cafe operates in a historic wooden hall that many people confuse with a chapel, and nearby the old J Ward or Ladies’ Cottage is undergoing restoration.
Mr Pearce told the ABC he hopes to have his new accommodation venture open for business early in the new year. The news item can be viewed here.
MONDAY UPDATE: The story has gone around the country today, thanks to a report filed by by Australian Associated Press journalist David Beniuk, which can be read here.