The many faces of the historic Pyrenees House

Pyrenees House has undergone many transformations in its almost 140 year history, but it has always been a place of care for the Ararat community.

Pyrenees House opened as the Ararat and District Hospital in 1886 during the gold boom and more than 100 years later, in 2021, was reinvented as the East Grampians Health Service Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic.

In the years between operating as a hospital and a vaccination clinic, this iconic building, which was renamed Pyrenees House in 1937, has also been an aged care facility and education centre.

The building has been refurbished several times over the past 100 years, with the most recent upgrade in 2015 when the interior and exterior were painted to prepare the building as an education facility.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw EGHS take on the responsibility for the provision of COVID-19 vaccinations to the community, and Pyrenees House, with its frontage to Girdlestone Street and easy access, was selected for use as the vaccination clinic.

Earlier this year part of the building was also set up as a friendly and welcoming child vaccination clinic.

“With vaccination numbers increasing and an expectation that the immunisation of the community will be a primary care responsibility for East Grampians Health Service for the longer term, a new facility is being sought for the vaccination clinic,” EGHS chief executive Nick Bush said.

“Pyrenees House will then return to its previous use as an education centre and welcoming conference and meeting space for the community.”

Pictured: Pyrenees House in the late 1800s