Our major renewal of the Hyde Park Barracks is well underway.
We are transforming the Hyde Park Barracks Museum into a world-leading cultural destination, with new innovative visitor experiences, education programs and dynamic technology making it best in class for museums in Australia. Keep reading below for more details on the bold new future for the Hyde Park Barracks Museum.
The museum will re-open in early 2020, however you can find out more about Australia’s convict history through our award-winning Convict Sydney website.
You may also like to visit our other houses and museums.
Hyde Park Barracks
The Hyde Park Barracks is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the historic heart of Sydney. Built to house – and control – male convicts, the barracks had far-reaching impact as the administrative hub of the colony’s convict system. After 1848, it sheltered immigrant girls and young women, and cared for older, sick and poor women. Drawing together key threads of convict life, Aboriginal resilience and free immigration, the story of the barracks is the story of Australia’s modern beginnings.
Developed by internationally acclaimed exhibit design specialists Local Projects, the Hyde Park Barracks experience takes visitors where no history book ever could. The unique Story Guide narrative will tell the emotional stories of the convict men and later the immigrant and asylum women who slept here, and the Aboriginal people impacted by this place. Immerse yourself in the past and see and hear their stories come to life.
The Hyde Park Barracks was meant to be a place of control and hard work. But the real story for convict men, and later immigrant and asylum women, who slept in its dormitories was different. This was a place of mischief and violence, friendship and care. Likewise, the colony’s rapid expansion fuelled by convict and immigrant labour was resisted by Aboriginal communities. This is their story too.
Our new hands-on active learning spaces are designed for visitors of all ages to get curious, get creative and get their hands dirty; to see, hear, feel and imagine the stories of the Hyde Park Barracks and the people who lived there. These purpose-built spaces will allow independent visitors, families and schools groups to delve into archaeology, handle objects, play, make and do on this remarkable heritage site.
Creating models for the Hyde Park Barracks
Installing a lift in the Hyde Park Barracks
Installing a lift into a UNESCO World Heritage-listed building like the Hyde Park Barracks is no small task. Take a look behind the scenes at the incredible work currently being undertaken, as the team talk through some of the challenges they've managed along the way as well as the benefits the lift will offer visitors to the museum when it reopens in late 2019.
Hyde Park Barracks Museum Renewal Update - March, 2019
Our staff have been hard at work packing down the exhibitions and displays from the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, some of which had been in place since Sydney Living Museums first opened the museum in the early 1990s. With the objects out, we are now able to begin remedial work on the site, preparing the building for the new exhibition experience due to opening later this year.
Peter Garrett and the Hyde Park Barracks
At the heart of the new experience is the internationally significant archaeological collection. More than 4000 original objects will be on display, many for the very first time. With its intriguing and poignant remnants of everyday life – such as scraps of fabric, pipe fragments and other personal possessions – the collection illustrates the barracks’ turbulent yet fascinating history and connects visitors to the stories of its past residents.
Hyde Park Barracks
Blue sky to fund Hyde Park Barracks renewal projectWednesday 1 May 2019
Read about our exciting Hyde Park Barracks project in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Hyde Park Barracks
Hyde Park Barracks Museum Renewal Update - March, 2019Thursday 28 March 2019
Watch this short video update exploring what we've been doing at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum.