The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.
Dead House, Circular Quay
Also known as the North Sydney Morgue, the Dead House at Circular Quay was a morgue and coroner's court on George Street North near Cadman's Cottage and the Waterman's Stairs in the Rocks. The first formalised coroner’s court and morgue in Sydney, it was suggested by Sydney City Coroner John Ryan Brenan in 1853, on land being used by the Water Police. Designed by Colonial Architect William Weaver and built by Thomas Coghlan it opened for use in 1855. The courtroom could hold two bodies, with other cadavers laid on the floor. The stench from the decomposing bodies at the North Sydney Morgue often forced coroner’s inquests out of the building and into nearby taverns at The Rocks.