The Mint has a long and interesting history. Constructed between 1811-16 as part of the hospital, it was in 1855 that it was converted into the first branch of Britain's Royal Mint to be established outside England. The need had been sparked by the goldrushes that began in New South Wales in 1851. With so much unrefined gold circulating as money, something needed to be done to protect the currency- hence the establishment of a coining factory. It continued operating until 1926, when its functions were taken over by the more profitable and technologically sophisticated Melbourne and Perth mints.
From 1927, The Mint was occupied by various government departments, until being declared a museum in 1979. Then, in 2004, it became the head office for the Historic Houses Trust. While the museum no longer operates, the handsome building does contain some interesting displays and exhibitions, as well as research facilities, meeting rooms and a café. If you're passing that way, it's well worth stopping in for an hour and learning more about our city's fascinating past. Alternatively, a visit to The Mint can be combined with a tour of those other nearby sites.