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.
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.
Let's get back to my Sydney walk...following Macquarie Street there is the oldest public building of Sydney CBD - The Mint. Originally built as a new convict hospital between 1811 and 1816, construction was financed with 45,000 gallons of rum hence the name Rum Hospital. In 1855 there was a first overseas branch of London's Royal Mint established in this building, and run until 1927 when closed. Later there were government offices and museum. Currently there is Head office of Sydney Living Museums @sydlivmus which runs 12 public museums and historic houses.
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