Hyde Park Barracks
The Hyde Park Barracks was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway and built in 1819 to house convict men and boys.
Why go there
The Hyde Park Barracks was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway and built in 1819 to house convict men and boys. It's had an eclectic existence as a dormitory for female immigrants, home for destitute women, an asylum and as a centre for government departments. Hyde Park Barracks is now a fascinating museum telling its own life story. Many thanks to the rats!
The daily lives of Convicts in Sydney, and how they developed the town,
For people with vision impairment, the Touch Tour,
The layers of history uncovered by the museum, from convicts to female migrants, to the 360degree image and map in the floor,
Learning how important rats were to the museum!
Access for all
Access the Hyde Park Barracks Guide and other fascinating reading at https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/hyde-park-barracks-museum/visit
A couple of wheelchairs are available for borrowing.
The Hyde Park Barracks is set back from Macquarie St by across a level, open but lightly graveled surface. The museum comprises all three levels. Access to the ground level is via a shallow gradient ramp. There is no lift to the upper two levels. A unisex access toilet is located in the toilet block behind the HPB. Another is located in the adjacent Café.
Organised school or group tours must be pre-arranged. Special interest tours can also be pre booked. Individual visitors receive a guide and map at entry to assist their discovery of the museum. A Large Print and Braille version are available at the reception desk.
Visit after about 2pm when on most days the school tours have finished as the guides will be more likely to be able to spend time with you – their knowledge brings the barracks to life! Access for those in wheelchairs is limited to the ground floor but such visitors can have an enhanced experience by arranging for a guide to talk them through a tray of artifacts on the ground floor to gain insight in to the levels above. They have some incredible anecdotes about the rats which rescued many artifacts. Spend time identifying the map laid in the floor, comparing it to the 360degree image on the opposite wall, to see just how Sydney has changed.
How to get there
Hyde Park Barracks is located "up the hill" away from the harbour and adjacent to Hyde Park, St Mary's and St James.
Explorer buses head along Macquarie St and the train stations at Martin Place and St James provide lift access to the platforms. The St James station is approximately 200m from HPB.
Commercial car parking is expensive. Domain car park is down a steep hill but less expensive than the Sydney Hospital car park (access from Hospital Rd behind the hospital). Another option is the Sydney Opera House car park.
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Interactive maps: http://maps.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/accessibility-map/