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Susannah Place Museum

Home > Sydney > Museums | Places of Interest | School Holiday Activities | School Holidays | Tours
by Glitterball (subscribe)
Raphaela Angelou.
Published August 11th 2014
Get your history on
Susannah Place Museum
The Rocks

My daughter and I walked from Circular Quay to The Rocks last school holidays. We strolled up Argyle street, and came to the sign which signalled Susannah Place. Entering a dark and haunting corner store, my little girl was entranced. "Can I help you?" a lady in vintage pinnie enquired. I asked about the tour, and whether we may join it. She said that we could, but stressed that booking online is wise, as they get full quickly.

We had a little look around whilst we waiting for the group to assemble. Bars of Sunlight soap, scrubbing brushes, mops, rock candy and much more were for sale. My daughter was particularly taken with the washboard, though I had a feeling the novelty would wear off pretty quickly! We set off, down the road and into a terrace house, one of a row.

Built in 1844, we were told to walk delicately and not touch the walls. In such an historic site, it felt awkward to contemplate taking photos, and so we just listened and watched. More than 100 families had lived in Susannah Place between 1844-1990, so there were plenty of ghosts amongst the layers of linoleum and wallpaper.

Our guide had an iPad with her, and showed us photos of how the terraces had originally been. They looked identical in the present time, having been restored to differing eras when particular families called them home. The seventies' spin was wild! Even the furniture was the same and in the same positions as per the old photos. My daughter was amazed at how people lived!

There were poignant moments too, such as when we visited the room of a young man who had enlisted during WW2. From his bed, he would have had a view of the Harbour Bridge and seen the navy ships. What was going through his head?

The tour ended up back at the shop an hour after we departed. We were left changed by the experience. My daughter had done some expensive things in the holidays, but this humble tour was her favourite. Great for kids and adults alike.

Susannah Place Museum
The Rocks
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Why? For an incredible glimpse into the past
When: Daily, 2pm-5pm
Phone: 9241-1893
Where: 58-64 Gloucester st, The Rocks
Cost: $8.00 adult, $4.00 child.
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