Government House is the Official Residence and Office of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, 39th Governor of New South Wales and Mr Dennis Wilson. Her Excellency is the 28th Governor to occupy this Government House and has held the position since 2 May 2019.
In 1788, soon after a British settlement was established at Sydney Cove, the first Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Governor Arthur Phillip, laid the foundations of Sydney’s first Government House. This building was located in Bridge Street (on the site of the Museum of Sydney). After nearly 50 years of serving as the colony’s political, ceremonial and social centre, the building had become worn and dilapidated and many submissions were made to the British government for permission and funding to construct a new building.
In 1836 construction finally began on a new Government House. The new building was influenced in its location and architectural style by the existing Governor’s Stables, completed in 1821 (now the Conservatorium of Music located at the main entry gates to Government House). Locally quarried sandstone was used for the construction.
The building was designed by Edward Blore, architect to William IV and Queen Victoria. Blore had recently built the British Houses of Parliament in an Elizabethan Gothic style, expressing the continuity of government by constitutional monarchy. Blore had also worked on Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. The new Government House was built in the Gothic Revival style characterized by castellated towers and other medieval features.
After years of delay and budget overruns, the House was completed in 1845 when Governor Sir George Gipps, 9th Governor of New South Wales, and his wife took up residence.
Over the years the building has been extended, refurbished and modernized to suit the tastes and needs of successive Governors. Today, the House holds a significant collection of portraits, furniture, decorative arts and gubernatorial memorabilia as a result of Vice Regal patronage.