Our History


In September 1869 a meeting was held in Mansfield where it was decided to establish a hospital for the town.

The Mansfield Independent newspaper reported from the meeting that £92 had been subscribed by the public. Although there was opposition within the ranks, the committee decided to build a hospital rather than rent a building. A month later the committee had £115 in hand.

On January 11th, 1871, Mr Alfred Chenery, the hospital’s first president laid the foundation stone. By May of that year the building has progressed enough for the committee to recruit staff. Dr Samuel Reynolds, one of the founders of the Mansfield Benevolent Association and the town’s sole practicing doctor, became the first Medical Officer. After advertising for a Matron, Miss Harriet Quirk was appointed, to start duty from June 1st. At the end of June, the Independent reported, “The Secretary reported that on the 21st of June he had placed the nurse, Miss Quirk, in possession of the hospital and it was now open for the reception of patients…”

The initial building had two six bed wards, one for males and one for females. According to newspaper reports, most of the admissions were the result of mining accidents, and the use of chloroform to reset broken bones was practiced.

Soon the need for more space was evident leading to the opening of a new wing in 1874. The hospital was officially recorded as an incorporated public hospital in 1876.


In 1916, Bentley House began operating as a private hospital for midwifery, as most public hospitals of the time would not accept 'confinement cases' (a practice that seems to have continued well into the 20th century).

A major development in 1935 saw the main north-south wards constructed, significantly increasing the size of the hospital. In 1952, the hospital purchased Bentley House, initially used for accommodation for the nursing staff and the matron. The 1960s saw the addition of the midwifery and theatre block.

In 1975 Bentley House was converted to a 10 beds aged care facility. The Buckland Wing was added in 1983, bringing the nursing home accommodation to 20 beds, and another 10 beds were added in 1996. In recognition of the Buckland Foundation’s ongoing generosity, the redeveloped Bentley House and Buckland Wing were renamed Buckland House in 1996.


The Bindaree Retirement Centre amalgamated with the Mansfield District Hospital in 2000, providing a complete range of aged care services. In 2003 Bindaree expanded to 42 beds, including an 11 bed dementia unit, two respite beds, and eight independent living units.

In 2015 the Primary Care Centre was completed, offering community care services in a ‘one-stop-shop' for accessing varies primary health care services through a single phone call or visit.


Celebrating 150 Years

In 2021 we celebrated our 150-year milestone. Read about the wonderful journey, and the amazing people who made it happen here.