Government House, Movable Heritage Collection and Gardens | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Government House, Movable Heritage Collection and Gardens

Item details

Name of item: Government House, Movable Heritage Collection and Gardens
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Government and Administration
Category: Government House
Location: Lat: -33.8600365271 Long: 151.2152241330
Primary address: Macquarie Street, Bennelong Point, Sydney, NSW 2000
Parish: St James
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT7012 DP93649
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Macquarie Street, Bennelong PointSydneySydneySt JamesCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Premiers & Cabinet DepartmentState Government 

Statement of significance:

Government House built in the early 1840s as the home of the monarch's representative and as the seat of power, symbolised British authority in the colony. Like the Governors themselves, the house is a powerful symbol of state.

From the time of its completion, the house and its occupants were seen as the 'pinnacle' of society, and the Governor and family as social exemplars, ideas that continued well into the twentieth century. Home to twenty four governors of New South Wales and their families, and the first five Governors-General, all chosen for their various pre-eminent positions, it reflects the many changes that have taken place in public and private life. Guests and visitors ranged from citizens paying their respects or receiving awards, to the reigning monarch, Elizabeth II, other members of the Royal family and other heads of states.

The finest example of a castellated Gothic house in Australia, the house with its landscaped gardens reflected its English ties and was the model that inspired others. It is a grand ensemble of buildings, gardens and contents whose history and use are richly documented. Developments to the place over 150 years demonstrate changing tastes and social attitudes, and showcase the talents of leading architects, artists and craftsmen.

Located in Governor Phillip's domain, it provides a tangible link with the earliest years of the colony, and is associated with the development of significant public places such as the Conservatorium (formerly its stables), Royal Botanic Gardens (formerly its grounds), and the Opera House.

Government House in Sydney is significant as one of the two original official residences selected for the Governor-General following the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901. Rivalry between New South Wales and Victoria led the Commonwealth Government to designate Government House in Sydney and Melbourne Government House as official residences of equal status for the Governor-General. The Sydney Government House served as the governor-general's Sydney Residence until 1912 when the NSW government sparked a major controversy by effectively evicting the governor-general. The place is significant for its association with the first five occupants of the high office of Governor-General from the time of federation until 1912.

A rare example of a great harbourside landscape estate virtually intact. A typical 19th century 3-part estate landscape of park, parterre and pleasure grounds. The formal grounds of sweeping annual displays, manicured lawns, exotic trees and shrubs as well as the carriageways, paths and terraces provide a strong link with Sydney's colonial and Victorian heritage

It is perhaps the last of the great harbourside estates to have survived relatively intact and to still be carrying on its original function; a combination of private residence, office complex and official function venue. The garden is one of the oldest continually maintained gardens in Australia. Whilst it has been altered to some extent over the years, it nevertheless provides an appropriately grand setting for the house.

The heritage significance of Government House at a State level is enhanced by the extraordinarily rich and diverse collection of moveable heritage ranging from furniture, paintings, ceramics, glassware textiles and sculpture to garden ornaments and kitchenalia dating back to the 1820s. It is a rare and intact collection of items with a ongoing and continuous association with the vice regal function and clearly demonstrates 150 years of changing style and taste. The collection is inherently linked to the house (and specific locations in the house). The comprehensive collection of portraits of NSW governors contains one of the earliest official portraits to be commissioned in NSW and Australia, that of Governor Thomas Brisbane by Augustus Earle. The collection of colonial furniture is significant and contains the most extensive collection of furniture by noted craftsman Andrew Lenham between 1845 and 1860 as well as furniture and other objects associated with colonial and international exhibitions and demonstrate excellence in local design, manufacturing and materials.
Date significance updated: 28 Mar 13
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Edward Blore (house); James Barnet (portico, colonnade/arcade); Cobden Parkes (outbuildings)
Builder/Maker: Various tradesmen supervised by Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis
Construction years: 1837-1847
Physical description: GROUNDS
Much of the 19th century character of the grounds remains. The grounds include private gardens as well as formal open areas. Near the house (on its south-east side) is a giant Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla), planted soon after the house's construction was completed. This tree is the surviving one of a former pair which stood either side of the terrace (Beattie, 2017).

The formal grounds of sweeping annual displays, manicured lawns, exotic trees and shurbs as well as the carriageways, paths and terraces provide a strong link with Sydney's colonial & Victorian heritage. (AHC, undated).

The garden maintains a distinctly 19th century character, drawing on Regency and Italianate styles, and featuring a collection of native and exotic species. Most changes to the garden were at the initiative of past governors and their wives, including Denison's five acre vegetable garden and Lady Game's much-loved project, the 'Spring Walk'. Some areas of the garden are true to their 19th century design, while others are more modern. Thoutsands of visitors enjoy the garden every year, both as public visitors and guests at functions ranging from garden parties for Royal visits, open days, award ceremonies and charity events. The garden is a crucial part of Government House - chef Christine Ware regularly sources honey (the current governor keeps bees), herbs and flowers for food servced at functions. Florist Marjan Medhat has also been known to use flowers and natural ephemera from the grounds in her floral displays, alongside potted plants grown in the greenhouse (ibid, 2017).

The first private garden - the Western Terrace - sits around a rocky outcrop and knoll and features an extensive sandstone wall and plantings of olive trees.

WESTERN TERRACE (1836-1845)
Lies inside the entrance gates to the left of the drive.
This is the oldest part of the garden, established when the house was being built (1836-45)(Beattie, 2017) to provide screening and privacy for the house (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 26/5/2017). THe evergreen trees planted here - many of them native species - were chosen to block out 'disagreeable scenery', but the large two-level terrace also functioned as a pleasure garden (Beattie, 2017).
The original sandstone walls, some of the gravel paths and plantings of olive trees and hedges survive. An evergreen or southern magnolia or bull bay (M. grandiflora) dating from the 1859s is at the northern end of the terrace.
The terrace was restored in 2000 by Sydney Living Museums (fmr. Historic Houses Trust of NSW).

EASTERN TERRACE (1869)(Beattie, 2017)
The eastern terrace's design was laid out in 1869 and remains the main feature of the garden. From the house's arcade (colonnade) you can view across bisecting pathways lined with flowerbeds to a view of Sydney Harbour. Through Cook's pines (Araucaria columnaris) and other trees you can see Fort Denison, Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Garden Island and beyond (Beattie, 2017). Originally the view was wider to the east including towards the heads of the harbour)(Stuart Read, pers.comm, 26/5/2017).
The Eastern Terrace has a central sandstone pond with its original stone fountain.
Various garden schemes have been installed in the eastern terrace's formal garden borders flanking the central path (Stuart Read, pers.comm., 27/8/2014).

PALM GROVE (1870s)(Beattie, 2017)
North of the Eastern Terrace is the palm grove, established in the 1870s for the Countess of Belmore, wife of the 13th governor. Here native and exotic palms including the Lord Howe Island's Kentia (Howea fosteriana) and curly (H.belmoreana)(named for the governor) can be found (Beattie, 2017, names and attribution: Stuart Read, 26/5/2017).

SPRING WALK (1930s)(Beattie, 2017)
Governor and Lady Game were both keen gardeners and Lady Game 'set out to produce an outstanding array of trees, shrubs and planters'. She established the Spring Walk on the southern end of the Eastern Terrace, where she supplemented surviving 19th century Camellia japonica cv's with new plantings of modern varieties. Surviving very old camellias include C.j.'Cleopatra Rosea' (pink) and 'Wellbankiana' (white), some of which are over 100 years old. Wife of Governor Game's private secretary, writer Ethel Anderson, had this to say about Lady Game's garden:
'under the grey green olives, late daffodils still star the grass. Watsonias, double cheeries, magnolias, spieas, purple eupatoriums and primulas, set in a spring border among standard white wisterias form, like a sea... Lady Game's border - so lovely with pomegranites, bougainvilleas, cistus and Madonna lilies - keeps its date with beauty.'

The entrance stones to the Spring Walk are said to be convict-made blocks from the first Government House built for Arthur Philip, now the site of the Museum of Sydney (Beattie, 2017).

Like many houses of the time, Government House was self sufficient with kitchen gardens, orchards and farm animals. The kitchen garden is now part of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

OFFICIAL PLANTINGS
To the west of the driveway is a large paperbark (Melaleuca leucadendra) and peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholli) planted by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954 during the first visit of a reigning monarch to Australia.

Many of the garden's trees are ceremonial plnatings. Among the roses on the Eastern Terrace the 'Dame Marie Bashir Rose' can be found (bred in that Governor's honour), as well as the 'Governor Macquarie' rose Dame Dr Bashir planted in 2009 as patron of the Rose Society of New South Wales. Dame Marie Bashir was just one of the many governors past and present wiht a passion for plants and their pollinators (Beattie, 2017).

THE LODGE c.1846
One of two Gothic style buildings to have survived around Government House. It is a copy of a gurad house at Windsor Castle.

GATEHOUSE c.1937
Brick gatehouse replacing an earlier timber one.

THE CHALET c.1890
Designed by Colonial Architect W.L.Vernon, the chalet breaks with the Gothic style of Government House. However, it has Tudor Gothic elements such as half timbered gables and broad brick chimneys.

HOUSE
Government House is a Gothic Revival two storey building with crenellated battlements, turrets, detailed interiors, extensive cellars and a porte cochere at the entrance. An open cloister on the east elevation forms a verandah room which is supported by Gothic arches and forms an open balcony above.

The ground floor contains twelve rooms and the first floor contains thirteen bedrooms. It is built of stone with a slate roof, timber floors, unpainted cedar joinery and a stone flagged verandah. There are extensive staff offices and quarters.

GREENHOUSE
(Beattie, 2017).

Moveable Collection
A collection of moveable heritage noted in theHistoric Houses Collection inventory as being of high and exceptional significance are also included in the State Heritage Listing. Item of exceptional significnace are those deemed to be rare or oustanding and of major cultural or historic significance to NSW and Australia Such items have a documented provenance to NSW Governors, thier families and entourages from 1845 to the early 20th Century or with the first five Governors-General of Australia between 1901 and 1915. Items of high significance are objects considered to be rare or unusual and to have a cultural or historic significance to NSW. These objects date from 1845 through to the present and may contribute to the understanding of the house occupant s and use or through their connection to artists, architects, craftsmen or suppliers associated with the construction and decoration of Government House.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Physical Condition - Excellent
Archaeological Potential - Good
Date condition updated:27 Aug 14
Modifications and dates: 1846-47 - Guardhouse built at entrance to the domain at the intersection of Bridge and Macquarie Streets
1854 - First coats of arms mounted on building

1861-5 gardens extensively developed - formal Eastern Terrace garden added, its key path aligned to Bradley's Head.
1863 - Deer House, Cow House and Conservatory constructed.
1873 - A porte cochere added to the southern entry facade
1879-80 - Construction of Eastern Colonnade and Arcade

1890-91 - Chalet commissioned and built
1899 - Ballroom extended.

1902-03 - Alterations and additions to buildings to accommodate Governor-General. Reduction in grounds' extent.
1915 - Grounds (outside reduced Government House's grounds) were dedicated to the public (Botanic Garden extension)
c1918-21 - Summer House in formal garden removed. Tennis court removed from forecourt lawn and relocated. Stone paving of paths of Eastern Terrace likely to have occurred at this time, replacing original gravel. Original stone to fountain and adjacent stairs was covered with split-faced sandstone blocks and a new access stair broken through the retaining wall to the relocated tennis court (south-east of the central path of the Eastern Terrace). Mediterranean cypresses installed along central path of Eastern Terrace.

Mid 20th c. - Eastern Terrace's main axial path paved with large rectangular stones, side paths with crazy paving (and also widened in proportion, destroying the original path heirarchy) and stylish grass borders removed (Griffin, 2010).
1948-54 - Additions and Renovations for Royal Visit by Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Phillip.

1960s - Swimming pool built in northern corner of Eastern Terrace
1979-80 - Demolition of earlier outbuildings and construction of a new group of buildings.
1980s - tennis court relocated again.
1990-96 - Reconstruction of Vestibule interiors, restoration of East Terrace and various other construction and restoration works (Historic Houses Trust; McGregor & Assoc 1997).

2004 - reinstatement of the c.1840 garden layout and treatment of the Western Terrace.
2010 - replacement of Eastern Terrace side paths, new drainage, irrigation and planting of central beds (Griffin, 2010).
Current use: Cultural Events, Vice Regal Functions
Former use: Aboriginal land, Government Domain, Common, Governor's Residence, Governor General's Residence

History

Historical notes: Before Government House, the grounds were home to the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. It was in this area the colony's first governor, Captain Arthur Philip, witnessed a corroboree for the first time (Beattie, 2017).

In 1972 Philip set aside the land where Government House now stands 'for the use of the Crown and as common lands for the inhabitants of Sydney'. The area stretched from Bennelong Point, through the present Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain to the lower ends of Macquarie and Phillip Streets (ibid, 2017).

In 1817 a new government house and offices in Sydney was included in a list of 'essentially necessary public buildings...' for Sydney, Parramatta, Windsor and Liverpool put together by Governor Macquarie. In July that year Macquarie sent instructions to Francis Greenway to draw plans and elevations for three new buildings. Macquarie laid the foundation stone for the new stable for government house in December. However, plans for the new government house were stopped by London and Macquarie turned his attentions to making the existing house more comfortable.

Greenway designed a 'neat handsome fort' on the point. While it was being built, sandstone was quarried from the rocky escarpment of Bennelong Point, creating the Tarpeian Way. It is believed that some of this sandstone was also used in construction of Government House (ibid, 2017).

In May 1825 Governor Brisbane sent a letter to Lord Bathurst regarding the want of a suitable government house and public offices, recommending the sale of the waterfront land on the east side of Sydney Cove to alleviate wharf and warehouse shortage and provide funds for the conversion of the Stables building into a residence for the Governor.

In the meantime, prior to the incoming Governor Darling's departure from London in June 1825, Lord Bathurst instructed Darling that should he find Government House in an uninhabitable state he should seek approval to build a new house or convert the Gothic style stables erected by Macquarie (now the Conservatorium of Music). Subsequently, Brisbane's dispatches arrived and Bathurst saw that action was now necessary. In 1826 he authorised Darling to carry out the construction of a government residence. Despite this, it was several years before an architect was finally commissioned for Government House. While no new Government residence was erected, a bathing house for the governor was constructed in the Gothic style on the foreshore of farm cove by 1828

It was not until Governor Bourke's term (1831 - 1837) that firm plans for a new government house were developed. English architect Edward Blore received the commission to design the Governors residence in NSW in 1833. His commission lasted until 1837. When he received the commission, Blore was already 'Special Architect to William IV, a position he would also hold under Queen Victoria for the early part of her reign. He had completed works at Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace and Goodrich Court, grand home in the Tudor - Gothic style.

By late 1834 a full set of ninety-seven working drawings were despatched to New South Wales. They were based on a brief provided by Governor Bourke in 1832. The building was to be a substantial and imposing stone-faced brick structure. It was smaller in plan area than the stables and much smaller than the house contemplated by Greenway in 1817. Its principal frontage was to be eighty feet wide with sides carried back to a distance of 150 feet. However, the budget allocated by London was not adequate for the work. A Select Committee was appointed to report on the new Government House to try to help resolve this and some other issues. In 1836 the committee concluded that the plans were suitable for a government house with the addition of some extra rooms, that the estimated budget from England was wholly inadequate and that the most suitable site was an elevated spot of land near Bennelong's Point, equi-distant between the Government Stables and Fort Macquarie. It was proposed that the shortfall of funds estimated to be of approximately 13,000 pounds for the house and its additional accommodation would be funded through the sale of about 20 acres of inner domain land adjacent to old Government House. The Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis was given the responsibility of altering the plans to suit local conditions and additional accommodation. Lewis also supervised the construction of the building.

By the time Governor Bourke left the colony in December 1837 the design had been modified, tenders let and some of the foundations had been set. The walls of the building did not begin to rise until after February 1839.

As the building progressed it appears that surprisingly little criticism was directed at the design, location or cost. The colony was entering a period of economic depression but none of the colony's newspapers carried anything but praise for the structure. By April 1843 a sufficient amount of the interior had been completed to allow Governor Gipps and his wife to hold the annual Queen's Birthday Ball in the new, yet unfinished house. It was two more years before the house was finished sufficiently for Sir George Gipps and his wife to occupy it in June 1845. The building program did not finish officially until 1847. The final cost of the construction was scheduled as 46,077 pounds.

The final siting of the house on Bennelong Point, facing to the east with a western terrace as a protecting device, or screen to the town, was a fundamental change in the character of the Vice-Regal residence in Sydney. The old Government House was central in the activities of the Port. The new site was as remote to the town as the house was lofty and private. It became a maritime 'mansion' within a private 'home park'. Furthermore, the decision to proceed with the new house was to be the death knell for the old. From 1833 to 1838 the funds allocated to it were negligible and no recordings of works were made between 1838 and 1845. It was taken down in 1846.

In 1846 the new Governor, Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, the second to reside at Government House had a guardhouse and gates erected. They were modelled on Forest Gate Lodge at Windsor Great Park, England and provided the point of contact with Government House. Their design continued the use of the Gothic style of architecture on the site. The next 3 years to 1850 saw gas lighting installed along the driveway from Macquarie street and notably the installation of green painted luffer blinds to the upper Drawing room in an attempt to mediate the extreme climate in Sydney. Edmund Blacket continued these efforts with the installation of external blinds to the outside of the State rooms windows.

In 1853 FitzRoy commenced the tradition of the carvings honouring the Governor's coats of arms and instructed the carving of Bourke's and his own on either side of the entrance arch. Bourke did not reside in the house but presumably his role in its commencement was being honoured. It is assumed that Gipps was not honoured by Fitzroy, or that his coat of arms was located on the east side of the building and subsequently removed for the erection of the colonnade.

Towards the end of FitzRoy's term, in 1854, a report by Colonial Architect William Weaver found that the building provided inadequate servant accommodation and lacked a wash house, laundry and servants hall. The building was in need of repair and renovation and the parapets were in a dangerous condition. These limitations compounded the difficulties for the new Governor, Sir William Denison who took office in 1855. The Governor found that the house, as previously thought, was suitable for a Governor and his suite but not for a Governor with a wife and family of ten children. There are records of Denison's daily demands during his period and his efforts to complete the building,notably the servants quarters, lanudry and washhouse, modernise its services, redecorate and furnish the interiors and install gas lighting throughout the house. Upgrading of the interiors continued through the early to mid 1860s and the governorship of Sir John Young.

In 1861-2 on the instruction of Governor Young, the eastern terrace was constructed as the focus for outdoor receptions and entertaining. The existing lawns were extended into a stone wall contained terrace featuring a set of symetrical gravel paths, garden beds and central circular pond and fountain. This formal garden arrangement is noted as a major change in direction for the garden from the rugged gothic - picturesque ideal of the earlier gardens. (McGregor and Associates 1997, 97) Many members of the British Royal family and other heads of state have been entertained here, starting with Prince Alfred in 1868 (Griffin, 2010).

Like so many other colonial estates, Government House was supported by kitchen gardens, orchards and grazing stock. By 1870, the kitchen garden had become part of the Sydney Botanic Garden and the detached farm (Grose Farm) became the site of Sydney University (ibid, 2017).

As well as developing the gardens, the Young governorship saw expenditure on items such as a new deer house, cow house, servents closets and a new larder in the service area to the north east corner of the house. These improvements undertaken in the early 1860s were under the control of James Barnet who was appointed Acting Colonial Architect in 1863 and Colonial Architect in 1865.

In January 1868 Government House became home to a new Governor, the Earl of Belmore and in less than 2 weeks the house was to accomodate an esteemed guest, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred on his tour of NSW. Prince Alfred's tour was a busy one with the usual round of presentations receptions and offical engagements all over the colony. Toward the end of the tour after his return to Sydney the Prince attended a Sailors Home fund raising picnic at Clontaff. on 12 March 1868. After sharing lunch wih dignitariesGovernor Belmore, Sir Henry Parkes and appeal sponsor, Sir William Manning, the Prince was shot at close range by James O'Farrel who was suspected of Fenian allegiences. The Governor acted quickly to arrange his safe transport back to government house and his treatment there. It is thought that the drawing room at Government House was established as a hospital room where surgeons removed the bullet which had lodged in the Prince's abdomen. The Prince continued to enjoy the Prince comfort, privacy and convenience of his 'hospital room' through the period of his treatment and convalescence. The Prince returned to Britian, arriving there in mid-July.

In the interim of the departure of Lord Belmore and the arrival of the new Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, (February and June 1872) the colony and the house were administered by the Chief Justice of NSW Lieutenant Governor Sir Alfred Stephen. During his administration the first significant change to the form of the house was ordered. He had a porte cochere constructed across the drive entrance which solved a long time complaint of a lack of cover for carriages arriving and departing in the rain. The porte cochere was designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet in the Gothic architectural style. These works significantly altered the Blore entrance and were completed in 1873.

In 1879 further works commenced on the house under Sir Stephen, who was again administering the colony for a period. These works, in part, can be seen as an outward expression of the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne. A new and opulent Government House had been built in Melbourne between 1872 and 1876. The Sydney Vice Regal House would be compared to it for many years to come. The works at this time included another Barnet designed addition - the Colonnade on the eastern facade of the building. The colonnade offered protection from heat and sunlight to the State rooms on the eastern side of the house and the newly installed French doors provided direct access from these rooms to the garden. On the first floor above the colonnade a deck was established and French doors installed and a cast iron stair to the deck provided access from the Governors private suite of rooms. These works were completed in 1880 and and the addition of venetion blinds to the upstairs windows were completed by 1882.

The works initiated by Sir Stephen and continued during the Governorship of Lord Augustus Loftus also included the completion of a significant new decorative scheme for the Main Hall the Dining room, Ante room and the Ballroom by the well known interior decoration firm of the time, Lyon and Cottier. This company is regarded by many as being responsible for the introduction of the Aesthetic Movement to Australia . Elements of this movement are displayed in the stenciling, hand painting and gilding techniques used in the Government House scheme dating from this time. Several parts of the scheme including stencilled wall decoration in the State rooms and the Four Seasons and Morning and Night cloth ceiling panels are still extant at Government House. The firm also introduced soft furnishing and floor coveringsand new and reupholstered furnishings.

In July 1881 the Governor Lord Augustus Loftus hosted the future King Prince George and his brother Albert, at Government House. Their delayed departure contributed to the financial difficulty of the Governor who was already in some difficulties. Following Lord Angus Loftus as Governor was Lord Charles Wynne-Carrington during whose term there were no significant changes to the building apart from repairs and additions to the service areas of the house.

At the end of Lord Carrington's tenure, Sir Alfred Stephen again acted as administrator for the colony and instigated more works and repairs the most significant of which was the commisioning and construction of the Chalet to accomodate the incoming Governor, Victor Villiers, Early of Jersey, son of the British Prime Minister, godson of the Queen and his family of five and his accompanying officers. Villiers was governor between 1891 and 1893 when the position was filled by Sir Robert Duff until his death in 1895.

By 1894 a number of buildings had been established in the Government House Grounds and changes had taken place concerning the grounds themselves. The site area had been reduced to 40 acres by the International Exhibition of 1879 and a new southern boundary had been established. Five acres of land were transferred to the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Gardener's Lodge, the Governor's Baths, The Chalet, other buildings, gardens, roads, pathways and fences were in place. However, controversy over the Colonial Architect's expenditure in the 1880s and the 1890s depression had greatly reduced all public works in the colony, including those at Government House.

As a result by 1895, as Viscount Hampden took on Governorship, it was recognised much of the stonework on the main house was in a poor state of repair despite earlier phases of replacement and rebuilding. Replacement work took place between 1897 and 1901 under the supervision of Government Architect Liberty Vernon, resulting in little of the 1840s turret work surviving today. Also under Vernon the ballroom was extended southwards to create a bay area with a musicians gallery above. Externally the style of the extension departs from the earlier gothic style with the 'use of diagonal butresses, four point arched windows, floreat finials and generous open fenestration'

In 1899 Governor Beauchamp, the last of the colonial governors arrived in Sydney. During this period the Billiards Room on the southwestcorner of the building were extended southwards and were designed to compliment the ballroom extension incorporating a rectangular bay window on the southern end. Problems regarding the function and comfort of the house for the private living of the Governor and his retinue continued during his period of office. This was also a time when electricity was introduced to Government House, replacing the gas lighting system and accounting for much of the expenditure on the house between 1898 and 1901.

Between 1900 and 1902 alterations and additions were made to Government House to make it suitable for the Governor-General and his considerable retinue of staff and officers. Most of the work was undertaken in the service wing of the house eith the original scullery extended to for a new , large kitchen. The original Servants Hall was replaced by a two storey extension to accomodate staff. The most significant alteration on the east fo the service wing was the rectangular addition alsong the lenghth of the eastern facade, again to house various domestic housekeeping functions and accomodate service staff. There was also an extension on the western facade. In addition a Stewards Cottage, a Store and Carpenters Shop and a Gardeners Room were constructed as out buildings and the 1850s laundry was converted to a scullery. A Summer House was constructed in the south east part of the formal garden.

Federation in 1901 marked important events at Government House.
NB SITE OF FORMATION OF FIRST FEDERAL MINISTRY
The House became the residence of the Governor-General of the Commonwealth when parliament was not sitting, the Colonial Governor's administration having been limited to NSW since the 1850s, the first meeting of the Federal Executive Council was held in the house at 4.30 pm on 1 January 1901 and it played host to the future King and Queen during the Federation celebrations. When Parliament was sitting in Melbourne the Governor-General would live in the opulent Government House there. The NSW Governor was relocated to Cranbrook at Rose Bay and did not return to Government House until late 1915.

The transfer of the house to the Governor-General was clearly intended to maintain the status and importance of NSW as the senior state in the Commonwealth. Similarly, the status of the house should also have been enhanced. However, in the first year the Governor-General, John Adrian Louis Hope, Earl of Hopetoun aware of the limits of the accomodation at Sydney Government House, travelled from Britian straight to Melbourne and spent most of his time in Victoria during his Governor Generalship and Government House, Sydney remained empty. It was a pattern repeated by the following two Governor-Generals, Hallan Tennyson 2nd Baron 1902-1903 and Sir Henry Stanford, Baron Northcott, 1904-1908. By 1905 there was still the feeling that the House was not used enough and the NSW Premier, Carruthers, complained to the Prime Minister. As a result, the cost of maintaining the two houses was paid by the Commonwealth Government.

Governor-General William Humble Ward Duncan, 2nd Earl was incumbent from 1908 to 1911 and spent his time living between Melbourne and Sydney. The following Governor-General Denman and his wife began his term residing at Government House Sydney, only to be evicted in 1912.

While the house was in Commonwealth hands there were a several of reorganisation of rooms and accompanying works. These changes included the Billards Room becoming the Governor's Office. The Waiting Room became the Aide de Camp's Rooms. On the floor above the Clerk's room became the Official Secretary's Office and on the upper floor the Drawing Room was named Boudoir No. 6 and Bedroom No. 7. The governor's bedroom had an ensuite installed. Repairs were also effected to the stonework.

The first NSW Labor Government was elected in 1911. It promised to reduce the expenditure on Governors, abolish the role of Governor and terminate the agreement with the Commonwealth. The intention was to use the building as a library, hospital, museum of arts or conservatorium. Opposition to this came from a diverse group. Negotiations continued into 1912. It was announced late that year that the Governor-General would leave and it would become a museum of antiquities and the house and garden would be open to the public.

Despite protests by the Citizen's Protest Committee, parts of the press and the objecting public, Lord Denman and his family left the house on 17 October 1912 and a large crowd saw them off at Central Station. This was perhaps the first time Government House received wide international press coverage. Government House stood empty for three years as alternative uses were debated and the appeals to the three levels of courts proceeded.

In October 1915 it was announced that the Governor would return to Government House. When Governor Strickland (1813-1817) he did return, it was to a house in grounds reduced by a little more than two thirds in the name of returning this public land to the people of NSW. In the same year the Government House stables began to be used as a conservatorium of music (McGregor & Assoc 1997:13-182). The loss of the Government House stables prompted the construction of a coach house and bails within the gorunds of government House as well as additions to the stables and several other buiildings between 1916 and 1918 when Sir Walter Davidson KCMG took on the role of Governor of NSW.

In 1924 after the arrival of Governor, Sir Dudley de Chair, the stables were modified to accomodate motorised vehicles and between 1927 and 1930 both the Gardeners Lodge and the Governor's Baths had been denmolished.

During the administration of Governor Game (1930-1935), Government House was the centre of political and social activity. Included in this activity was the sacking of Premier Lang who was determined to abolish the NSW Legislative Council. Pressured by Lang into creating an absolute majority in favour of this action and conscious that his social engagements put him in contact with a biased view of public opinion, Game played for time. He urged Lang to wait until the Council rejected the abolition bill. This made Game unpopular with both sides. Further events which resulted in public outcry and a flood of abuse and criticism forced Game to take action and Lang was dismissed in the Governor's study at Government House in May 1932.

On a more personal level, Game was a humanitarian. Most functions held at Government House were for charity and only essential visitors were asked to stay. He also made regular morning visits to the people living in the Domain in caves or canvas shelters and on public benches or the grass. He also supplied food to all who queued for it at the back door of Government House and bestowed pensions on some of the men for life (Broomham, 1997:193-95).

Prior to 1933 there had been various schemes proposed relating to the city's future which would have an impact on Government House. In 1933 Government House remained a target for opportunists and planners of the future city. The conservative government of Bertram Stevens considered moving the Governor again. In 1935 while Brigadier General Hon. Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven was fulfilling his year long Governorship, the Macquarie Street Planning Committee proposed the demolition of Parliament House, Sydney Hospital and Mint buildings to allow the extension of Martin Place and the building of a new Parliment House on the original entrance to Government House, demolishing the Conservatorium and Guardhouse in the process. The proposal ws still under consideration during the 2 month governorship of Admiral Sir Davis Anderson in 1936 and also during the early year that Baron Wakehurst Capt. Rt Hon. John de Vere Loder KCMG ( 1837-1946 was Governor. The government approved the proposal but the Second World War intervened and stifled further action.

In 1936 plans were drawn up for Offices for the Official Secretary and Gatekeeper's Shelter. These were constructed under the supervision of Government Architect Cobden Parkes, son of Sir Henry Parkes. By 1937 Government House was preparing for the effects of the coming war with plans in place for blackout curtains for all windows and the remodeling of the entrance to the basement as an air raid shelter which is still in place. By 1941, Government House was connected to the Board's Sewer.

Between 1918 and 1937 there was no change to the layout of the building. In 1941 a new sewerage and drainage system was installed (McGregor & Assoc 1997:197).

In 1946 Governor Northcott, New South Wales' first Australian-born governor, took up residence. There was some concern as to whether he could sustain the expense of the position, not having the money of the previous aristocratic Governors. During his Governorship (1946-1957) the first visit of a reigning monarch to Australia took place. Alterations and renovations began in 1948 when it was learned that King George would visit in 1949. This was rescheduled for 1952 but ill health saw the Princess Elizabeth scheduled to make the trip. The death of King George prevented this too.

In preparation for the Royal visit plans were drawn up in 1948 to improve the accomodation for visitors on the first floor. The 1890 Boudoir was divided to made a sitting room to accompany Bedroom 6 and Bedroom 7 was subdivided to make a bathroom and dressing room for the suite of rooms. The french door from Bedroom No. 7 to the terrace was replaced by a window located centrally in its original place. In addition the blind window in Bedroom No. 3 was replaced with a window. A lift was fitted at the southeastern end of the house removing original access to the musician gallery and reducing the size of Bedroom No. 2. The rooms on the first floor were painted and papered.

Finally after many years of expectation, in 1954, the young Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Sydney on the SS Gothic and after official reception by the Governor General, NSW Governor and the Prime Minister and Premier (Broomham 1997:206-208) the Queen and Duke boarded the Royal barge and made for Government House.. They were the first of numerous Royal visitors and other guests over the next twenty years. The outward expressions of these were the memorial tree plantings which can be found in most parts of the garden.

Following the Queen's visit of 1954, during the Governorships of Sir Eric Woodward a( 1957-1965 and Sir Roden Cutler (1965 - 1981) there were a large number of visits by the various members of the Royal family and other important guests such as President of the United States, Lynden Johnson and Pope Paul VI. This necessitated the regular upgrading and maintenance of the accomodationn at Gvernment house including the construction of a swimming pool and dressing pavillion in the East Terrace north corner.

Three major changes were to effect Government House following the Queen's visit . One was the development of office buildings west of the house affecting the house's connection with city vistas. The second was building the Opera House to the north which affected its connectedness to the harbour and the third was construction of the Cahill expressway to the south resulting in relocation of the entry gates to government house. The house now had new neighbours which looked into the gardens and the western facing rooms of the house and chalet. These changes made Government House more remote from city vistas and isolated it more from the activities of the harbour.

In the early 1970s another stonework replacement program took place and in 1979-80 the earlier outbuildings were demolished and a new group of buildings, mainly garages, constructed. During Sir Roden Cutler's term as Governor several changes were made in the organisation of rooms in the Service Wing to accomodate activity of the house.

Where previously the house interiors were of a decorative, high art form, the effect of social change, two world wars, the depression and the advent of modernism had effectively destroyed the tradition of arts and crafts by the 1980s. No longer were the interiors of the house entrusted to the leading artists and craftsmen of the day. New furniture was no longer commissioned from the local craftsmen but carried the labels of the local retailers.

In the early 1980s, after Sir James Rowland AC, KBE, DFC, AFC took over as Governor, conservation studies were prepared by the Department of Public Works, recommending recovery of the character of Victorian interiors and gardens. Between 1983 and 1986 a program of research and conservation of the interiors of the State rooms were undertaken and included the conservation of the only original Lyon and Cotter work in the house, the Drawing Room and Ante Room ceilings. Carpets and soft furnishings reflecting 19th century patterns were commissioned. This restoration was part of a revival of interest in decorative arts of 19th century Australia and new popular attitude towards conservation.

Other changes in the 1980s included upgrading security systems, relocation of the tennis court to the south east of the Spring Garden. By 1989 the potting shed was enlarged and converted into a 2 bedroom cottage to house married staff. To accomodate the Prince and Princess of Windsor during the Bicentenary celebrations in 1988, Bedrooms 4 and 5 were linked with a new door way providing 3 rooms and two bathrooms for the counple's accomodation in the Windsor Suite.

In 1989 the first Australian Naval Governor of NSW, Sir David Martin was appointed. He was followed by Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair. Maintenance of the house and garden to a high standard was continued during his period as Governor. Work on the house during this period included a major upgrade of the kitchen, modification of female staff's rooms and the adaptation of several staff accomodation and service rooms as a Butler's quarters. During 1994 and 1995 the replacement of stonework continued and the colonnade was cleaned and much of the parapet stone work was replaced

Governor Sinclair was the last NSW Governor to reside at Government House, representative of the perceived changes to the role of the governor. Since that time the Office of the Governor has been located in the Chief Secretary's building and Government House is used for a variety of events such as Garden Parties for charity fundraising and various Vice Regal events, investitures, receptions, dinners. In March 1996 the Historic Houses Trust of NSW took over the staffing and management of Government House. and regular openings of the house commenced.

Demolition of office buildings in 1997 revealed views of the Government House and grounds from Circular Quay and The Rocks lost since the 1950s. However, hotel development at east Circular Quay in which the visual relationship of the Opera House with the site, but not that of Government House were the focus of public outcry, the loss of its street address, the screenlike effect of the Western Terrace and the original siting of the house have made it more remote than ever and caused it to become virtually invisible (McGregor & Assoc. 1997:186-238).

Government House Sydney and its grounds were opened to the public in 1996 under the care of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (now Sydney Living Museums). In December 2013, Government House resumed its role as the official Residence for the Governor of New South Wales https://www.governor.nsw.gov.au/government-house/visit-us/).

In 2011 the HHT had managed Government House for 15 years - meeting its brief to support the Governor and continue to make Government House available for Vice-Regal functions, while managing greater public access to the site, to community and charitable organisations for fundraising events and to the state and Commonwealth governments for their important functions. Since 1996 (when HHT took over), almost 2 million people have visited the site. There have been around 750 events hosted by community and charitable organisations. Every year the house hosts around 250 vice-regal functions, from formal diplomatic occasions to community events hosted by the Governor. The house has also become a cultural venue, with world-music concerts, artist-in-residence programmes, exhibitions with Aboriginal groups, craft workshops and lectures. There are free guided tours from friday-sunday and the gardens are open daily. Primary School programmes have been a great success (Clark, 2011, 2).

THE GROUNDS
Government House is built on land set aside by Governor Phillip in 1792 for the use of the Crown and as common lands for the people of Sydney. This area included the whole of Bennelong Point, the present Royal Botanic Gardens, the Domain and the lower parts of Phillip and Macquarie Streets.

In keeping with the contemporary fashion for 'picturesque' settings the house was situated high on a harbour headland, providing a romantic silhouette, with trees and shrubs partially screening the building.

Indigenous vegetation was cleared to provide views, exotic trees and shrubs were planted and carriageways, paths, terraces and fences were laid out.

Government House was self supporting with kitchen gardens, orchards and grazing stock. However, its detached farm became the site of Sydney University and by c.1870 stock no longer grazed in the house grounds and the kitchen garden had become part of the Botanic Gardens.

By the late 19th century the setting had been transformed to one of horticultural order and smoothness. This change followed the English landscaping fashion, with the grounds having an Italianate formality.

During the 20th century the area of the grounds of the house were significantly reduced (Historic Houses Trust). After federation, the new commonwealth government faced the awkward problem of having to select a place of residence for the head of the executive, the governor general. The two most poulous states, Victoria and New South Wales, pressed the claims of their respective capital cities to be the governor-general's official home. In the face of this rivalry, the Commonwealth designated two official residences of equal status, one the Melbourne Government House (RNE 005233) and the other Government House in Sydney. However, the cost of maintaining two residences soon proved a heavy financial burden on the governor-general.

Gardener Myles Baldwin was assigned by his then-employer, the Historic Houses trust of NSW (now Sydney Living Museums) to work in the garden of Government House, under the direction of Martin Zerholz. Together they richly replanted the herbaceous and shrub borders, in the Victorian Gardensque style - with jangling colours, dramatically-contrasting foliage and exotic species galore (Schofield, 2018).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Significant Places How are significant places marked in the landscape by, or for, different groups-Monuments and Sites
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Creating environments evocative of the 'old country'-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and parklands of distinctive styles-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Providing a venue for significant events-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing national landmarks-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Gentlemens Mansions-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing public servants and officials-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing the prosperous - mansions in town and country-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing governors and vice-regal families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Adapted heritage building or structure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing famous families-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Architectural design-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Victorian era residence-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Commons-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Resuming private lands for public purposes-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Demonstrating Governor Macquarie's town and landscape planning-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Administering and alienating Crown lands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Macquarie's town layout-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Cultural Social and religious life-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Garden-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Gentlemens Villas-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 19th Century Infrastructure-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Beautifying towns and villages-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in urban settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Urban landscapes inspiring creative responses-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Planning relationships between key structures and town plans-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing towns in response to topography-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Servants quarters-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Working in the public service-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Colonial government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Federal Government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Providing Governors residences-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State Governor's residence-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Federating Australia-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - parks and open spaces-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Direct vice-regal governance (pre 1856)-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - providing museums-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Administrative Centre, 1839-62-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Monuments-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Developing cultural institutions and ways of life-National Theme 8
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing landscapes in an exemplary style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing structures to emphasise their important roles-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing making and using coats of arms and heraldry-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Performing important ceremonies and rituals-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian Gothic Revival-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Patronising artistic endeavours-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing to evoke nationalistic feelings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian period-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - Victorian gardenesque style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Victorian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Edwardian-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian (mid)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing, Making and using fountains-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing fountains-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1900-1950-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1788-1850-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1850-1900-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ornamental Garden-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Valuing women's contributions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in, adapting and renovating homes for changing conditions-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Kitchens and servants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. At home with a national leader-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation musical gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Glasshouse cultivation of plants-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor concerts and performances-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gathering at landmark places to socialise-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to a museum-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing billiards-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Playing tennis-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Developing collections of items-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Community volunteering-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Belonging to an historical society or heritage organisation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Developing local clubs and meeting places-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of formal community gatherings-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities Places of informal community gatherings-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) Somerset Lowry-Corry, Earl of Belmore, GCMG, 1868-1872-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir (later Lord) Augustus F.S.Loftus, 1879-1884+-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, 1846-1865-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.-Cnl. Sir George Gipps, KB, 1838-1846-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Mortimer Lewis, Colonial Architect, 1796-1879-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia 1952+-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Barnet, Colonial (government) Architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen., later Gnl., Sir) Ralph Darling and Eliza Darling, 1826-1830-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Mjr.-Gen. (later Gen., Sir) Richard Bourke KCB, 1831-7-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor The Hon Dame Dr Marie Bashir AD CVO, 2001-2014-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Lyon, Wells and Cottier, stained glass makers and interior designs-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) Charles Robert, Baron Carrington, PC, GCMG, 1885-90-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Cobden Parkes, Government architect, 1950s-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with William Weaver, Colonial Architect 1855-6, architect-engineer-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (later Maj-Gen.) Lachlan Macquarie, 1810-1821-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Mjr-Gen.) Sir Thomas Brisbane, GCB, KCH, 1821-1825-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon) Victor Villiers PC, GCMG, Earl of Jersey, 1891-1893-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) Sir William Duff PC, GCMG, 1893-1895-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.-Gen. Sir William Denison, KCB, 1855-1861-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir John Young (later Baron Lisgar Bart, KCB, GCMG, 1861-1867-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Hercules Robinson, GCMG, 1872-1879-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) Henry Brand, Viscount Hampden, GCMG, 1895-1899-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) William Lygon, Earl Beachamp KCMG, 1899-1901-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, KCB, 1902-1909-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor (Rt.Hon.) Frederic Thesiger, Baron Chelmsford GCMG, 1909-1913-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Gerald Strickland, Count della Catena KCMG, 1913-1917-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Walter Davidson KCMG, 1918-1923-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Admiral Sir Dudley de Chair KCB, MVO, 1924-1930-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game GBE, KCB, DSO, 1930-1935-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven (later Lord Gowrie) VC, GCMG, CB, DSO, 1935-1936-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Admiral Sir David Anderson KCB, KCMG, MVO, 1936-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.-Gen. Sir John Northcott KCMG, KCVO, CB, Kt.St.J, 1946-1957-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Lt.-Gen. Sir Eric Woodward KCMB,CB, CBE, DSO, 1957-1965-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Sir Arthur Cutler VC, 1966-1981-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Air Marshal Sir James Rowland AC, KBE, 1981-1989-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Goveror Rear-Adm. Sir David Martin KCMG, AO, 1989-1990-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor Rear-Adm. Peter Sinclair, AC, 1990-1996-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Governor His-Exc-Gen. The Hon. David Hurley AC, DSC, 2014--
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Edward Blore, English architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, future King George V-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Lyndon Johnson, US President-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Pope Paul VI-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This site replaced the original government house in 1845 as the seat of power and the symbol of the Crown and British authority in the colonial period.
It was the seat of executive power under the constitution of New South Wales from 1856-1901 and 1915-1996.
It can demonstrate its changing role as the seat of executive power, the residence of the Governors of New South Wales, and as an important place of State ceremony.
(McGregor & Associates 1997: 257)
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The site has close associations with the many Governors and Governors General who have resided there as well as the many international heads of state who have visited and stayed there. As the seat of British authority in NSW and Australia, Government House is significant for its important association with the British royalty, especially those who have been accommodated at the house including Prince Albert (who after being shot was treated and nursed back to health in the Drawing Room of Government House), the Queen Mother, the Prince of Wales, Charles and his late wife Diana, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and most importantly, the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh on a number of occasions.
The historic significance of Government House is also enhanced through its association with those involved in its design and construction: Edward Blore, an eminent British architect who completed the original design of the house; Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis who adapted these plans to suit Australian conditions; James Barney who designed and supervised significant repairs and alterations to the house; and Walter Liberty Vernon who was also responsible for significant additions and repairs.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The quality of Edward Blore's design and detailing, and the degree to which his intent was realised in the finished house, resulted in a unique building for the colony. It remains the finest example of a castellated Gothic House in Australia.
The Gothic style of the house and the character of its landscaped gardens were perceived to be quintessentially English and calculated to maintain the emotional ties between a distant colony and the motherland.
It served as an inspiration for other Gothic buildings in Sydney including harbourside villas, and was also a model for the unrealisd Government House in Hobart. Furthermore, it was an impetus for the Gothic revival in Australia.
The construction of such a large and sophisticated building was a major technical acievement for the time. It had a seminal imfluence in raising the standards of building and craftsmenship in the colony.
The additions to the house by James Barnet and Walter. L.Vernon between 1870 and 1902, were notable examples of the later Victorian Gothic revival style.
The Chalet is a fine example of an Arts and Crafts inspired style of domestic architecture and a forerunner of the Australian Federation style of the early 20th century.
(McGregor & Associates 1997:258)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The house was seen as a pinnacle of society and the roll of Governor as social 'exemplar', ideas that continued well into the 20th century.
The place can demonstrate the changing emphasis in the selection of Governor; from military, to career administrators, to aristocrats. By the end of the 19th century the role was perceived to be more social than political, and post-war Australian Governors were installed into this esteemed position.
At each stage in its history, Government House was a place of work for personnel involved in the business of the Governor, in domestic service, in securing the site, or in the keeping of the grounds, most being resident on the site.
The role of domestic servants, and later domestic staff, continued until the mid 1990s, well after such service had become anachronistic in most other great houses in Australia.
(McGregor & Associates 1997:257)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Government House demonstrates at a high level the design, layout, construction techniques and finishes of a colonial grand house in the Gothic style as well as that of an early colonial harbour-side estate charged with the carriage of viceregal functions including symbolic functions of authority in polity and society. The ensemble of House, outbuildings and gardens can demonstrate the development of the site and its functions from the colonial period to today. The Government house interiors as they have evolved from the 1840s reflect the development of taste and style over 170 years.
The Government House garden has the archaeological potential to provide information on early roads and drives and terrace arrangements.
The important interiors (such as the Lyon and Cottier wall Drawing Room ceilings and hand painted cloth panels) and the extensive moveable heritage collection (including the collection of Colonial Australian furniture, portraits of Governors, and some of the more recent furnishings and fittings) demonstrate 150 years of changing style and taste.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
It is a rare surviving example where the original and early planning remains relatively intact and demonstrates the prevailing social order and domestic arrangements of the 'place'. (McGregor & Associates 1997: 258)
Integrity/Intactness: The whole assembly is relatively intact within its 1915-17 boundaries - including house, garden, gatehouse, Chalet, courtyards, garages, greenhouses etc - and can show the development of the site and the management and workings of Government House. (McGregor & Associates 1997)
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementReview a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0187213 Dec 11 1257138
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register  01 Jun 18   
Local Environmental Plan 300303 Apr 92 0422464
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAHMS P/L2010Archaeological Assessment. East Terrace, Government House, Macquarie Street, Sydney
WrittenAitken, Richard & Morris, Colleen1999Government House, Sydney - Master Plan for Garden & Grounds View detail
WrittenAustralian Heritage Commission Gardens of Sydney - celebrating the places that shape us - Australia's heritage
WrittenBarry McGregor & Associates1997Government House Sydney : Conservation and management plan - Vol. 1
WrittenBarry McGregor & Associates, 8/19971997Government House Sydney - Conservation & Management Plan - Volume 2
WrittenBeattie, Daisy2017'The Gardens of Government House' View detail
WrittenBeaven, Tempe, quoting Innes, Ian1996Government House, Sydney View detail
WrittenClark, Kate2011Fifteen Years at Government House (editorial)
WrittenDepartment of Public Works & Services, Heritage Design Group2000Government House, Sydney: Archaeological Monitoring Report, Stormwater Services
WrittenDepartment of Public Works & Services, Heritage Design Services2000Government House, Sydney: investigation of Western Terrace path system
WrittenDepartment of Public Works & Services, Heritage Group, Buildings Branch1997Excavation Permit Application, Government House, Sydney
WrittenDominic Steele Consulting Archaeology, 22/3/20182018Historical Archaeological Assessment: Government House, Macquarie Street, Sydney - Proposed Paving Alteration, External Lighting and Lavatory Block Addition
WrittenGriffin, Robert2010Conserving a Showpiece: The Eastern Terrace at Government House
WrittenHistoric Houses Trust2011Government House Collection High and Exceptional Significance Listing
WrittenNicholls, Sean2017'Time to evict the NSW Governor once again'
WrittenOultram, John2018Heritage Impact Statement: Proposed Paving Alteration, External Lighting and Lavatory Block Addition, Government House. Macquarie Street, Sydney
WrittenSchofield, Leo2018'Down to earth' (profile interview with Myles Baldwin, gardener)
WrittenSingh, Mantej2011Vice-Regal One - balancing state use and public access - behind the scenes at Government House
WrittenToy, Ann2011Tales of Vice-Regal Life
WrittenToy, Ann and Griffin, Robert2011Government House, Sydney

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051948
File number: S91/03008


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