William Fielder was perhaps the first known European occupants of the land. He was convicted of highway robbery and sentenced to death at the 7 May 1788 Old Bailey sessions, but the sentence was commuted to transportation for life. Also known as "Jack the Gardener", he established an extensive orchard and garden here that flourished between 1790 and 1810.
Science House was built in 1930, receiving the Sulman architectural award for its design. From then until 1976 it was the offices of The Royal Society of NSW and Institution of Engineers; a centre of learning and scientific inquiry, reflecting Sydney's scientific, intellectual and cultural development of the time.