Government House


Government House

Government House is the official residence of the Governor of Victoria, and is located in the precincts of the Botanical Gardens.

Government House History


Melbourne was founded on the east-west axis of the Yarra River. At first, the north bank was developed with commercial and residential buildings, and land on the south bank left largely vacant. After the Swanston St-Princes Bridge-St Kilda Road line formed a north-south axis, the sloping land to the south-east, bounded by the river, Anderson St, Domain Rd and St Kilda Road, was set apart in 1841 as the Domain parkland, including a reserve for a future Government House. When Ferdinand von Mueller was appointed Director of the Botanic Gardens in 1857, he was in charge of landscaping the whole Domain, including the reserve, as one parkland.

The tower at Government House is 44m high and the flagpole on top adds an extra 13.7m. The site of Government House was chosen as it provided one of the few vistas clearly seen by Melburnians looking south over the Yarra.

By 1870 a decision had been made to construct Victoria's first purpose-built Government House on the site. Victoria's first Government House had been La Trobe's prefabricated cottage, in use from 1840. Toorak House, which was leased from 1854 to 1874, was the second, then briefly, Bishopscourt in East Melbourne was used before the present building was occupied.

The historian Asa Briggs has described Melbourne, only four decades old when this house was built, as one of the great cities of the Victorian era. By the 1870s Victoria regarded itself as 'the most important Austral division of the empire', and required a Governor's residence befitting this status.

The gold rush years brought to Australia not only energetic diggers, but a group of talented professional men. Among these, the botanist Baron von Mueller, the architect-engineer William Wardell and the landscape gardener William Guilfoyle, played a part in the creation of Government House and its grounds.

In 1871, William Wardell, Inspector General of the Public Works Department, was commissioned to draw up plans for the house. J.J. Clark and Peter Kerr worked under the direction of Wardell in the Public Works Department. Wardell's other notable Melbourne building is St Patrick's Cathedral, Clark's is the Treasury Building and Kerr's is Parliament House.

The house was designed in Italianate style and construction was in the economical medium of brick and cement render. Government House was built in the mid Victorian period, when the emphasis was on pragmatism and efficiency. Its refined, functional ambience contrasts with the embellishment characteristic of boom mansions of the 1880s.

The construction contract was awarded to Martin and Peacock, and the house built in the years 1872-76. The tower provides a central focus for its three sections: the central State block, the private apartments to the north and the ballroom to the south. In the 19th century the naturally greyish exterior of the building created depth of shadows which enhanced the texture of its surface detail.

Government House, because of its commanding position, has been part of the city's consciousness since its construction. It provides a focal point for the central business district which faces south over the Yarra River. Its tower can be glimpsed from a variety of locations in the inner suburbs such as Richmond, South Yarra, Toorak and the City of Melbourne. From high-rise buildings in the city the full splendour of its location within extensive parklands can be appreciated.

Open Day


On 26th January each year, Australia Day, the Governor of Victoria opens the doors to the public who can view many rooms not normally open and enjoy a picnic on the lawns.
Government House Open Day..

Guided Tours


Guided Tours on Mondays and Thursdays may be booked through the National Trust (03) 8663 7260

 
Government House Drive  Melbourne Victoria 3004 | View Map Link opens new page
Link opens new page Telephone: 03 8663 7260


Melbourne Link Government House Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window www.governor.vic.gov.au Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Government House @ Wikipedia Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window www.nationaltrust.org.au/vic Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window La Trobe's Cottage | Original Government House Link opens in new browser window



0  LOVE IT    Do You Like This Page? Click here to LIKE..


Link opens new page Page Access > Update | Edit Details | Mobile Friendly Version

Link opens new page Content Access > View Category | Melbourne



Click here to edit / update this page





Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Instagram
Melbourne What's On In Jul 2015 >
 
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31


Featured
CargoMaster
View CargoMaster
Air freight and sea freight forwarders. International freight services to and from Melbourne. Self pack containers from ...


Pop Haydn Magic Show
View Pop Haydn Magic Show
Pop Haydn: Certifiable Genius The Melbourne Magic Festival proudly presents internationally awarded magician Pop Haydn! Pop ...


Rob Zabrecky Magic Show
View Rob Zabrecky Magic Show
TURN ON THE DARK WITH ZABRECKY There’s simply no other magician like Rob Zabrecky. Through a wide range of artistic ...


Babba @ Veneto Club
View Babba @ Veneto Club
It's time to dust off those platform shoes and lycra tights and get into that 70's gear for a night of Abbasolutely Fabulous Abba ...


Mr Bamboozle's Crazy Fun Magical Game Show
View Mr Bamboozle's Crazy Fun Magical Game Show
Ready on the Buzzers! You have never seen a game show like this before. Nor a magic show for that matter. Children's performer ...


Top End Trade Services
View Top End Trade Services
Here to take the hard work and effort out of finding the right trades people. Top End Trade Services is your one call solution ...


Babba Kids Shows - School Holidays
View Babba Kids Shows - School Holidays
It doesn't matter whether you are 5 or 50 - everyone loves ABBA! Over the June/July school holidays BABBA - Australia's ...


Holiday Magic Show | Make Your Parents Disappear...Again
View Holiday Magic Show | Make Your Parents Disappear...Again
Alex and Luke are back, with more weird and wonderful ways to trick your parents! Would you like to go to Magic School? Alex ...


The Fairy Magic Show
View The Fairy Magic Show
Wear your favourite Fairy Dress and Wings and enjoy a magical ride into the world of Fairy Lee. Enchanting for both little ...


Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival
View Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival
Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival is one of Melbourne’s most-loved school holidays events held annually for kids aged 4 to 10. ...


Tuxedo Junction 2015 | Black Tie Charity Ball
View Tuxedo Junction 2015 | Black Tie Charity Ball
Tuxedo Junction 2015 Centre Stage Supporting Cancer Council Victoria will take place in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and ...


Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
View Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
WITNESS IMPOSSIBLE OCCURRENCES, ONE OF MELBOURNE’S MOST EXCLUSIVE ATTRACTIONS. Award winning magician Luke Hocking intrigues ...


Check Out
Get Melbourne | .melbourne
View Get Melbourne | .melbourne
The world’s most liveable city now has the world’s most liveable web address. .melbourne - the city’s new home online. .melbourne is Australia's new | Read More..

Donutella | Nutella Doughnuts
View Donutella | Nutella Doughnuts
Mick's Donutella's or Nutella Doughnuts have everyone talking, and buying them. People can't get enough of them, since Mick's Place started stocking the | Read More..

What's Hot

Our Pick
Dry July
View Dry July
Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go booze-free for a month to support adults living with cancer. It helps you get healthy and clear your head while also raising funds for an important ...

The Broadsheet Restaurant
View The Broadsheet Restaurant
The Broadsheet Restaurant on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy is an all-day diner serving breakfast through to dinner and drinks into the night. It will showcase Melbourne’s world-leading chefs, ...


Newsletter
Stay in touch | Get our newsletter every Tuesday