The Museum of Sydney, on the Site of First Government House
is built on the ruins of the house of New South Wales' first Governor, Arthur Phillip
Admiral Arthur Phillip RN was a British admiral and colonial administrator. Phillip was appointed Governor of New South Wales, the first European colony on the Australian continent, and was the founder of the settlement which is now the city of Sydney.-Early life and naval career:Arthur Phillip...
on the present-day corner of Phillip
Phillip Street is a street in the central business district of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. While the street runs from King Street in the south to Circular Quay in the north, the present street is effectively in two sections, separated by Chifley Square...
and Bridge Street, Sydney
Bridge Street is a street in the CBD of Sydney, Australia. It runs east-west between George Street and Macquarie Street. It is in the Local Government Area of the City of Sydney and the postcode is 2000. The street is 500 metres long...
. The original house, which was Australia's first Government House
Government House is located in Sydney, Australia alongside the Royal Botanic Gardens, overlooking Sydney Harbour, just south of the Sydney Opera House...
, was built in 1788 and exposed by archaeologists in 1983. The building was designed by Denton Corker Marshall
Denton Corker Marshall is a major award-winning Australian architecture practice established in Melbourne in 1972. It was founded by architects John Denton, Bill Corker, and Barrie Marshall...
architects. The museum was built as part of the Governor Phillip Tower
Governor Phillip Tower, Governor Macquarie Tower and the Museum of Sydney are the main elements of one of the largest developments in the City of Sydney. Completed in 1994, they occupy an elevated site in the Central Business District’s prestigious north-east area...
development and is managed by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.
The Museum of Sydney explores colonial and contemporary Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...
through objects, pictures and new digital media techniques. Panoramic views of Sydney - from 1788 until today - stretch across walls and video screens. Sydney's convict
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, large numbers of convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government. One of the primary reasons for the British settlement of Australia was the establishment of a penal colony to alleviate pressure on their...
era is explored in a giant showcase of goods and chattels recovered from more than 25 archaeological digs.
Origins of the name
When it was commissioned, the project was called the First Government House Museum
. Whilst the museum building was being built in November 1993, the New South Wales Minister for the Arts announced that the museum would be known as the Museum of Sydney on the Site of First Government House
, described in the press at the time as a "mouthful" and commonly contracted to The Museum of Sydney. The change of name attracted protests.
The public entrance to the museum is via First Government House Place in Bridge Street, Sydney. The outline of Phillip's residence, the first Government House, is marked out on the plaza with inlaid stone. Excavation of the site revealed examples of covered drains dated to the late 1790s and brick barrel drains dated to circa 1811 and another to circa 1828. Sections of the drains were left exposed under cover as part of the Museum of Sydney.
- Museum of Sydney, on the Site of First Government House landing page at The Historic Houses Trust.