Hyde Park Barracks

Convict Sydney

1801 - Day in the life of a convict

In the young colony, there was no prisoner’s barrack - the bush and sea were the walls of the convicts’ prison

Two women seated on simple bed in dormitory style display holding large book.

40,000 women and the dormitory experience

It’s well known that 2253 Irish orphan girls were some of the first occupants of Sydney’s Female Immigration Depot, but they were only just the beginning of the women’s story at Hyde Park Barracks

Convict Sydney

A day in the life of a convict - 1844

Fraying at the edges, these were the Barracks’ darkest days with only the worst convicts remaining


A lighter shade of drab

In this video, as specialist painter Adam John Christian Seur goes about his work, curator Gary Crockett explains the origin of drab

Convict Sydney

A world of pain

The combined aims of the assignment system, from 1826 onwards, were to equip farmers with cheap convict labour, to disperse convicts away from towns (and other convicts) and to keep an eye on each worker’s whereabouts and treatment

Kneeling man farewelling seated woman.

Activity: make your own convict love token

Learn about convict love tokens and some of the convicts at the Hyde Parks Barracks

Still from Boundary Conditions, Daniel Crooks, 2022. Presented by Sydney Living Museums.

An alternate world: Q&A with Daniel Crooks

Ambiguous, disorientating and beguiling, Daniel Crooks’s ambitious video installation brings together new technology and complex post-production processes to create a compelling visual experience that subverts our understanding of time

Convict Sydney

Ann Marsh

Thief, mother, entrepreneur. Arrived 1789 on Lady Juliana

Assorted bones including sheep, goat and pig bones

Archaeology Underfoot

As they experience historical archaeology first hand, students learn to differentiate between the roles of historian and archaeologist