"Peel Back Layers of History at Hyde Park Barracks" Hyde Park Barracks Museum Tip by aussiedoug

Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Sydney: 12 reviews and 23 photos

  Main Dormitory Building
by aussiedoug

Yes, peel back the layers of history in this building that has been thefollowing:
Built from 1817 - 1819 to house 600 male convicts in secure overnight lodging. When you visit this place try one of the hammocks they slept in on level 3 & see how comfortable it would have been, especially if you were a little taller & fatter than average.
The hammocks were replaced by iron beds. Many of these were young Irish orphans seeking a new life in the Colony of New South Wales living here until hired out.
1862 - 1886 FEMALE INFIRM, DESITUTE ASYLUM For less fortunate women this became an increasing part of the central dormitory building (which you see in the attached photo) eventually taking up Levels 2 & 3. They were terminal patients, demented individuals & other social outcasts
1887 - 1979 COURTS & GOV'T OFFICES
After female housing was finished in 1886 the Hyde Park Barracks undertook extensive refurbishment to change not only the main dormitory building, but also all the surrounding smaller buildings, for courts & other legal offices. In the last century (seems strange saying that about the 20thC)The Clerk of Peace, Industrial Courts, the Public Trustee, the Master in Lunacy (how crazy did he have to be? lol!) were housed here.
1979 - Present
Just on 100 years ago there were plans to demolish the Hyde Park Barracks, but eventually in1975 a decision was made to use these buildings as a Museum. The Historic House Trust of New South Wales (www.hht.net.au) has administered it since 1990.
Like the Museum of Sydney this is another gr8 museum, in my opinion, not only a fascinating part of our colonial history, but also a very manageable one to navigate. It will only take you a couple of hours or so to gain a great deal of knowledge & enjoyment out of this place.You can visit it at a cost of $7 for individuals, $3 for ch'n & concessions or $17 for a family. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Address: Queen's Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Directions: Orientate yourself from Hyde Park. It is diagonally opposite the NorthEast corner of Hyde Park at the end of Macquarie Street.
othercontact: 1300 63 777 (Infoline)
Phone: 02 9223 8922
Website: http://www.hht.net.au

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 25, 2004
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