Before Governor Macquarie arrived, convicts were left to roam freely at night. Macquarie was determined to establish law and order, and in 1819 he commissioned convict-architect Francis Greenway to design this restrained, classically Georgian-style building. Today the Barracks houses compelling exhibits that explore behind the scenes of the prison. For example, a surprising number of relics from this period were preserved by rats, which carried away scraps of clothing
and other artifacts for their nests beneath the floorboards. A room on the top floor is strung with hammocks, exactly as it was when the building housed convicts. The barracks are part of the Sydney Living Museums collection of 12 historic buildings.
Apr 6, 2007
Vising the Barracks give you a sense of the beginning of Sydney and Australia as a penal colony. The exhibits range from overview to specifics and include many personal individual histories and experiences to give a sense of reality to it. Did you know that England "transported" children as young as 9 (without parents) for stealing a few dollars worth of things? Once there as a "criminal" they have to be dealt with. This is what you learn at Hyde
Park Barracks. It's close to other things and easy to get to. It's a fairly short visit and worth the time and effort to see. Dr. Ken Rich