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Government House

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

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 government house, 1834, designed by Henry Reveley, photo 1861 (Stone?), SLWA. Scaffolding for the third one on the right? Click/tap.

The second and third Perth 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. After replacement it remained as a private residence until demolition in 1887. The governor (Arthur Kennedy, who arrived in 1855) moved into the current building before it was finished. It is from 1859-63, and is extant, with Kim Beazley 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.

City of Perth:
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 until 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: 13 June, 2022