Remembering the Past Australia

Government House, Hobart, Tasmania ca. 1868

TAS013.01 Government House. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia ca. 1868Description: Government House.

Location: Tasmania, Australia


Our Catalogue Reference: Part of CO 1069/621.

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Historical Information

The first substantial Government House was built in 1817 in Macquarie Street on an area now occupied by Franklin Square, Elizabeth Street and the Town Hall. However, this building proved to be inadequate and Governor Arthur decided that it needed to be replaced by a house on the present site at Pavilion Point.

After several delays construction of the present Government House commenced in 1855. Some of the sandstone used in construction was excavated from quarries at the site, which is now ornamental pools. Local timbers were used for the joinery and Welsh slate for the roofs. Furnishings were ordered from Trollope and Sons, London.

The main construction was completed in 1857 and on 2 January 1858, Sir Henry Fox Young became the first Governor to take up residence. Internal finishing was completed over the following two years. Apart from the conservatory, which was rebuilt in accordance with the original uncompleted plan in 1991, the structure of the Government House remains as it was when it was first occupied.

Tasmania’s Government House is today regarded as one of the best Vice-Regal residences in the Commonwealth.

Designed by colonial architect William Porden Kay, it is a fine example of an early Victorian country house in neo-Gothic style and is one of the largest of its type in Australia.

The scale, detail and finish of the entrance hall, grand corridor and staterooms together with their furniture are unequalled in Australia. [The Governor of Tasmania –]

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

ca. 1868

Government House, Hobart

Colourised and enhanced photo showing the Government House in Hobart, taken facing North-East with Lindisfarne in the background – circa 1868.

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