The Mint

Overview

The Mint consists of two structures – the Mint offices and the coining factory – located in the most important civic precinct of Sydney. The Mint offices building on Macquarie Street has been a major…

The Mint consists of two structures – the Mint offices and the coining factory – located in the most important civic precinct of Sydney. The Mint offices building on Macquarie Street has been a major element in the streetscape of Sydney for almost 200 years: the coining factory, hidden from view, is less well known. Both these buildings are associated with major events in the history of New South Wales and are of exceptional heritage significance.

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.

The Mint today is open daily, free of charge. 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.

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