map showing location of 11 Australian Convict Sites added to World Heritage List in 2010

The Historic Houses Trust’s decision to reconstruct the guardhouse domes follows the inclusion of Hyde Park Barracks (HPB) with ten other Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Built to house the convicts engaged in Governor Macquarie’s ambitious public works program, the Barracks is itself a product or organized convict labour. Hyde Park Barracks interprets a significant aspect of the evolving Australian convict experience from 1788 to 1868 – the creation of the HPB compound represented the designation of places of incarceration. Previously the whole of the Australian continent had been regarded as a place of exile and, while military personnel were housed in barracks, convicts had been lodged throughout the town. The Barracks saw 50,000 convicts pass through its gates between 1819 and 1848.