Our History, Our Home 

An accessible and sustainable space for local and community history at History House 

The RAHS is upgrading facilities at its home, History House, to ensure it remains part of our rich living heritage. This project enables one of the grandest 19th century townhouses in New South Wales to become a cultural facility where the architectural formality of the colonial past is combined with contemporary office spaces and digital infrastructure. The project will provide additional spaces, a new lift and improved disability access. If you would like to learn more about our project and donate, read through the drop down menu below.

History House will continue to be the headquarters of the Royal Australian Historical Society, which utilises the building’s unique resources for members, affiliates and the broader community through the provision of spaces and services that fulfil the objectives of the Society of research and education on Australian history, delivered in ways that are ethically, legally and financially sustainable, and by being innovative in adapting to evolving circumstances.

History House will remain a living place of State Heritage significance through continuous conservation and stewardship in ways that are engaging and respect its heritage values, are environmentally sustainable, and fulfil the Society’s objectives.

In order to achieve this vision, the project has a number of key objectives and outputs that it will deliver. View and download the History House Project Objectives.

A critical component of the History House project concept and design phases was an extensive consultation period with affiliated historical societies, individual members and other organisations that use the building for events, educational programs and to research and deliver history projects.

This community consultation resulted in heritage architects Design 5 changing the original design plans, which were further reviewed by building services and accessibility experts, to better meet the project's overall objectives.

Click below to download the History House Conservation Management Plan (May 2016) and Heritage Impact Statement (June 2016), both prepared by Design 5 Architects. The History House Conservation Management Plan was funded by a 2015 Heritage Report Grant from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Current Status

  • On 3 January 2017 the City of Sydney approved the development application.
  • Architects Design 5  worked with consultants to prepare construction documentation for tender.
  • Preferred builder was selected in 2020. The detailed project budget and minor updates to design plans are currently being finalised.
  • The RAHS is also working on raising funds to support the construction phase of this project.
  • If you have any questions about the project and our fundraising efforts then please contact the RAHS General Manager at executive@rahs.org.au or (02) 9247 8001.

  • The History House project model that can be viewed at Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street [Images courtesy of Design 5]

There are a number of ways that you can help the RAHS fund this project.

Donations can be made to the History House Project online, via EFT/bank transfer or cheque. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

EFT/Bank Transfer

Account: RAHS – Building Fund
Bank: Commonwealth Bank
BSB: 062-004
Account number: 1031 4375


Cheques should be made payable to the Royal Australian Historical Society




You may wish to leave a particular asset, a specified sum of money, or a percentage of the total estate to support the project. If you are considering this option then please contact the Society’s General Manager at executive@rahs.org.au or call (02) 9247 8001.

The RAHS delivers a program of events at History House that is open to anyone with an interest in Australian history. History House is also a base for the RAHS to co-ordinate regional seminars and an annual conference that provide opportunities for regional and city based members to network and develop skills that support the production of quality history and heritage projects statewide. Staff and volunteers work on publications and digital initiatives at History House that promote Australian history throughout the broader community. Its library and archives are a culturally significant research resource that can be used by members for free, or by the general public for a small fee. The History House Project is critical for the ongoing usability of the building so it remains part of our rich and diverse living heritage, and will ensure that people with mobility-related disabilities can participate in the cultural activities at History House.

History House at 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney, has a unique and fascinating history. The building was designed in 1871 by the architect George Allen Mansfield for his uncle George Oakes, a well known pastoralist and politician. The house was the last in the row of quality Victorian town houses to be built on the west side of Macquarie Street, between Bridge Street and Bent Street.

Click on an image below to explore the history of History House, notable people who are significant to the building's history, and plans for further resources to be produced by the Society.