Museum of Sydney


Museum of Sydney: (33° 51′ 49″S, 151° 12′ 42″E) on the site of the first Government House at the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney, NSW, 100 m from Macquarie Place — the start of the Great North Walk.

The Great North Walk Companion extract- page 145

Elsa and Ian emerge from the Museum of Sydney.
“How did you like it?” I enquire.
“It’s a great history place,” beams Elsa. “We began with the Cadigal clan, whose land this is. Moved past the First Fleet and into the 19th century history of Sydney town. But the panorama video on the top floor beats all the exhibits — right, Ian?” This receives a nod from her son that seems to satisfy Elsa and we all walk on to the Conservatorium of Music at the corner of Bridge and Macquarie Streets and Elsa continues the story of early Sydney town.
“What’s the picture?” my companion asks Ian about a postcard he is carrying.
“Mum says it might be one of our ancestors,” he replies rather sheepishly, “but I don’t think so and in any case it’s so sketchy you couldn’t really tell.”
“Billie showed me one like that she said might have been one of mine.” I barely catch this reply and am astonished by what follows. “I wish I’d kept it now though.”
Then Elsa continues her history tour and the moment is lost. “Governor Macquarie and Francis Greenway were a formidable team here in downtown Sydney. In 1816, Greenway had been commissioned by Macquarie to design an extension to the now elderly Governor Phillip’s house and add a ballroom. We saw the foundations of Phillip’s first ‘government house’ in the Museum. The extensions that Macquarie had in mind did not go ahead in the end because the British refused to fund Greenway’s plan. However, we can see over there the one part that was completed. The new stables, older sister to the Obelisk by a couple of years, look more like a small castle than a stable block. Now they form the rather splendid façade of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.”

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