Built with local sandstone between 1841 and 1849, the Regency-style Victoria Barracks were designed by Lieutenant-Colonel George Barney, who also built Fort Denison and reconstructed Circular Quay. Sydney’s first barracks had been at Wynyard Square, where the soldiers of the 11th (North Devonshire) Regiment of Foot had been able to enjoy all the privileges of living in the city: the pubs, the eating houses and the brothels. So there were groans of despair when they were uprooted to the lonely outpost that was Paddington. The site had been chosen because it had borehole water and was on the line an attacker from the east might use, but its main feature was scrub: heath, swamp and flying sand from the adjacent dunes, which caused conjunctivitis (known as ‘Paddington pink-eye’). And while the main building and parade ground were (and still are) quite stunning, the soldiers’ quarters were cramped, and British regiments dreaded being posted to Australia. Nowadays, the old barracks is used as a military planning and administration centre. The museum is housed in the former 25-cell jail, also home to a ghost, Charlie the Redcoat, who hanged himself while incarcerated for shooting his sergeant.
|Venue name:||Victoria Barracks|
Oxford St, between Greens & Oatley Rds
|Opening hours:||Thu 10am-1pm; Sun 10am-4pm|