Financed with 45,000 gallons of rum, Governor Macquarie’s ‘Rum Hospital’ provided 200 beds for convict patients. But stuffy, overcrowded and rife with dysentery, it quickly became known as ‘the Sidney Slaughter House’.
The Royal Mint, Sydney.
In this award-winning redevelopment of Sydney CBD’s oldest public building and historic coining factory, past and present truly co-exist. Facing Macquarie Street, the elegant colonnaded building once formed the southern wing of Governor Macquarie’s notorious Rum Hospital and later part of the first overseas branch of London’s Royal Mint. The coining factory behind, shipped in pieces from England during the height of the gold rushes, contained the most cutting-edge technology in the colony. Integrating new and heritage buildings, historic structures and archaeological elements, the site today houses our head office and verandah café, while the central courtyard provides a tranquil oasis on Sydney’s busy Macquarie Street. The Mint is also home to the Caroline Simpson Library, which holds the only public research collection in Australia dedicated to the history of the home and garden.
Convicts who were lucky enough to survive the transportation voyage, often arrived at Sydney Cove suffering infectious disease or other illness, and were admitted directly to the colony’s General 'Rum' Hospital.
When Francis Greenway was appointed Civil Architect by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in March 1816, he became the first government architect of New South Wales, a post which celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2016.
When the Sydney Mint’s Coining Factory opened in May 1855 it contained the most cutting-edge technology in the colony. The building itself was equally innovative. Made of prefabricated cast-iron components, it was shipped in pieces to Sydney, where it could be quickly assembled.
Aerial view of the Mint forecourt in 1962. Note there is no front fence.
At this time the Mint would have housed Government offices. Between 1926 and 1997 almost 20 different Government departments and law courts came and went from the Mint buildings.
Happy 50th my dear friend @clintonsydney You are dearly loved and valued by your Lord and Saviour not to mention those who celebrated with you last night. Praying for a long and fruitful life Clinton. #artcollective #artlover @botanics_sydney #sydneymint