The Royal Newcastle Hospital was, for nearly 190 years, the main hospital in the Australian city of Newcastle. The hospital stood on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Hunter River port of Newcastle, New South Wales, from 1817 until 2007. The hospital grew in step with Newcastle from its founding as a penal settlement and coal port. The first hospital on the site was built by and for convicts. They were followed by generations of patients, staff and supporters who were involved with an expanding seaport hospital and its many campuses. The hospital in turn had a powerful influence on the East End of central Newcastle and portside communities and on people’s wellbeing throughout the Hunter Valley. By 2007, the year the ‘Royal’ closed, this was one of the oldest, largest and best-known hospitals in Australia. Redevelopment of the hospital site began in 2008 and, with the exception of the North Wing (opened in 1915) and the nurses' homes, much of the site was replaced by apartments. The hospital re-opened in the Royal Newcastle Centre at the site of the John Hunter Hospital in New Lambton Heights.