Fremantle Stuff > buildings > Government House

Government House

There have been half a dozen government houses in Western Australia: residences built for the permanent or temporary habitation of the governor: three in Perth, one in Albany, one in Fremantle (not built for that purpose, and where the governor almost never stayed), one on Rottnest Island (not finished in time for the governor who commissioned its building to stay there).

Stirling selected part of the foreshore of the Perth township for his residence and gardens in about September 1829 and by Christmas he and his wife were able to entertain officers of the visiting Success in a 'commodious wooden house' (S-D: 156).


The second and third government houses, in Alfred Stone's c. 1865 photo, taken from the front yard of his house, Alpha Cottage, just across St George's Terrace. The one on the left, a 2-storey stone building, was designed for Stirling by Henry Reveley in 1834. The governor moved in before it was finished. The second is from 1859-63, and is extant, with Kim Beasley in residence, now the only Government House in the state, and one more than we need.


Alfred Hawes Stone's photo of a review of the Enrolled Pensioner Force at Government House in 1863.

Government House is the only vice-regal residence in Australia built in the style known as ‘Jacobean’ after King James I of England. Built by convicts and free men, the foundation stone was laid in 1859, but the building was not fully complete untli 1864. The grounds of Government House are well-known for their beauty and much of the original layout from the 1850s and 1860s has been preserved. (Text from a City of Perth walking trail pamphlet)


Stone posing in front of Rottnest's Government House, in his own photograph.


'Marmion Cottage', Henry Wray's house in Fremantle, also used as a Government House

References and Links

O'Brien, Jacqueline & Pamela Statham-Drew 2012, Court and Camera: The Life and Times of A.H. Stone, privately published, distributed by Fremantle Press.

Statham-Drew, Pamela 2003, James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia, UWAP.

Garry Gillard | New: 7 June, 2018 | Now: 8 November, 2019