It was designed by Francis Greenway, the convict architect, who also designed St James Chursch which features in several photos on this blog.
As many as 50,000 convicts transported to New South Wales from around the old British Empire spent some time at the Hyde Park Barracks. Based at the Barracks, they provided the labour and skills that built the colony. Later the old building was a temporary home for thousands of female immigrants and infirm or destitute women.
By the turn of the 20th century its rooms and corridors echoed to the sound of lawyers, clerks and a range of public servants working at a variety of jobs from providing law courts to public services like the vaccine institute and government printer.
Today it is a museum of its own history and a window into the past.