In this video, as specialist painter Adam John Christian Seur goes about his work, curator Gary Crockett explains the origin of drab - a dull, strangely coloured paint used on the timberwork of Hyde Park Barracks.
In the early 19th century, the Hyde Park Barracks was the central convict institution and crossroads for tens of thousands of convicts shuffled back and forth throughout the colony. It's now on the World Heritage list, recognised among the world’s most important cultural heritage places linked to forced migration, colony building and convict culture.
Watch this short video from the Learning Team at the Hyde Park Barracks to learn how to use an original Convict Indent listing to draw a real convict. There are six real convicts for you to choose from.
This exhibition explored the lives of convicts, their grueling experiences of transportation, their role in building and populating the early town of Sydney and how they forged new lives in the colony of New South Wales.
Paint doesn't come any more natural, practical or traditional than distemper, a water based mixture of whiting and glue. Here's a handy step-by-step guide to making and applying this beautiful paint yourself.
Convict transportation had brought more male convicts to NSW than females. By the 1820s there were almost four men to every woman in the colony. So, from the 1830s the British government encouraged young, unmarried women to migrate to NSW.
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.
One of the most significant convict sites in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Hyde Park Barracks was converted into Sydney’s female Immigration Depot in 1848, temporarily housing an estimated 40,000 women during its 38-year history. The barracks holds evidence of these former occupants in its walls, floors and ceilings.
In the few years between 1848 and 1850, a total of 4114 orphan girls, each one of them drawn from bleak Irish workhouses, were chosen to sail to Australia under a remarkable, controversial and short-lived immigration scheme.
Hard as it is to imagine men and women in the government institutions at Hyde Park Barracks singing and dancing, archaeological evidence suggests that music may have been heard there from time to time.
Rats stole scraps of food, clothing and material to make their nests under the floorboards of the Hyde Park Barracks. Thanks to them we now have a unique archaeological collection that helps us to better understand what life was like at the barracks for the male convicts and female migrants who lived here between 1819-1886.
Until 1782, English convicts were transported to America. However, in 1783 the American War of Independence ended. America refused to accept any more convicts so England had to find somewhere else to send their prisoners. Transportation to New South Wales was the solution.
We’ve recently installed new blinds in the Level 2 windows at the eastern end of Hyde Park Barracks, to protect the many tiny keepsakes and small things left behind by the women of Sydney’s female Immigration Depot.