Built for a cost of 45,000 gallons of rum, The Mint is rich in history. It was originally part of Governor Macquarie’s ‘Rum’ hospital for convicts and later became the first branch of the Royal Mint outside London. Today The Mint is home to Museums of History NSW’s head office, the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Bullion café and a spectacular series of venue hire spaces.
The Mint offices were constructed between 1811 and 1816 as the south wing of the General Hospital and are one of the oldest surviving buildings in central Sydney. It is also the earliest example of classical architectural detailing in Australia and contains much evidence of colonial building techniques from the convict period.
The coining factory represents a major event in the social, economic, and political history of New South Wales – the discovery of gold. Built in 1854–1855 in response to the gold rush, the buildings were constructed using imported prefabricated components and are rich in evidence of minting processes and machinery.
Explore the rooms and hallways where colonial surgeons and apothecaries once lived and examine the archaeological remains of the Mint in the courtyard and rear buildings, reminders of the busy industrial complex that operated here for many decades.