Hyde Park Barracks Museum
HYDE PARK BARRACKS MUSEUM - A RICH AND DIVERSE HISTORY
The Hyde Park Barracks Museum, built 1817-1819, is a popular landmark in the historic central precinct of Macquarie Street. This elegant Georgian building is part of the earliest group of public buildings to survive in Australia. It is testament to the civic aspirations of Governor Macquarie, the skill and perseverance of the convict workers who built them and is one of the finest works of the accomplished convict architect, Francis Greenway.
The Hyde Park Barracks was designed as accommodation for 600 convict men. It maintained this use until 1848 when transportation ceased. It has had many occupants since then - Irish orphans, 'unprotected females', and aged asylum inmates were part of its life as an Immigration Depot. Coroners, bankruptcy, lunacy and industrial arbitration courts and offices then followed.
The Hyde Park Barracks Museum displays fragmentary evidence of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the past 175 years. The stories of the scourgers and convicts, matrons and immigrants, judges and clerks are told through exhibitions, an innovative soundscape, and through the building itself. The archaeology of the Barracks is featured in all its scattered glory aprons, pens, pipes, bones, buttons, sewing materials were all found under the floorboards and in rats nests.
The key focus of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum is the convict workers. Visitors can rediscover their daily life - where and how they slept, ate, worked and dreamt. They can also learn about the plight of the women who passed through the Barracks when it was an Immigration Depot for unprotected or unaccompanied women from 1848-1886.
To commemorate the 150 years since the Great Irish Famine, 1845–1848, a sculpture is planned for incorporation into the Hyde Park Barracks Museum site. The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, initiated the installation by removing a stone from the outer wall of the Museum during her State visit to Australia in September, 1998.
The Hyde Park Barracks Museum also houses the Greenway Gallery, a modern gallery with changing exhibitions about history, ideas and culture.
The Hyde Park Barracks Café is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3pm and Weekends from 10am to 3pm. There is also a Shop located at Hyde Park Barracks Museum.
Media Enquiries T: 02 8239 2318