Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

The Carters' Barracks Plaque 57 of the Green Plaques




Pitt St., cnr. Eddy Avenue.


Built-    Demolished-




Rendered brick Stone


Housing Barracks
Above- after the verandahs were added.
Above- the original building, without the verandahs, that looks much more Georgian.
Above- the site in the fifties.
Site of The Carters’ Barracks
Cnr Pitt Street: These barracks were built to accommodate 200 male convicts and, in a separate building, 100 male juvenile offenders. The carters in government employ, their working horses, bullocks and carts were housed here. The boys were kept separate from the men, in the hope that they would be improved in behaviour and not corrupted by older felons. But the experiment was not a particular success. The site is marked by a Green Plaque.


The Carter's Barracks were on the north-west of the Burial Ground. The heavy black lines roughly outline the area currently occupied by Central Railway Station and yards.

The Carters' Barracks were constructed under the supervision of Major Druitt to the design of the overseer of bricklayers, Francis Lawless, to house convict carters and brickmakers (Note 1a). It appears in a list of Public Buildings in Howe's NSW Almanack, 1821, as "Carters' Barrack and Stables, Brickfields, Sydney". The Bonwick Transcripts described it as "Carters Barrack at Sydney built with Stabling for 90 horses and offices attached", indicating it was completed in 1819. However, while it was probably under construction in 1819, it may not have been completed until 1820.

In the early years of the colony, the work was very hard for the brick carters. The worst of the convicts were sent to the brick fields to work, and kept in Brickfield Village when not at work. As there were no beasts of burden, chain gangs of 12 convicts drew the brick carts (weighing three quarters of a tonne) over a kilometre to the settlement in Sydney Cove, nine times as day. In 1796 bullocks (and later horses) took over.

The Carters' Barracks was built to house the convict gangs working on the brick fields. A separate barracks for convict boys was also built at the Brickfields establishment, separated by a high party wall. In Major General Macquarie's report to Lord Bathurst in 1822, on his period of administration of the colony of New South Wales, the following appear in his list of Public Buildings erected, just after the Hyde Park Barracks: