History of Government House

The first Government House, the "Government Hut" was constructed of timber slabs, wattle and daub, a thatched roof, calico ceiling, and external stone chimneys. It is believed to have been on a site between the present railway station and the River Torrens, and was destroyed by fire in 1841.

Government House, Adelaide is the oldest Government House in Australia.

When Lieutenant Colonel George Gawler replaced Hindmarsh in 1838, he abandoned plans for a permanent house of timber and gave directions for the erection of a new building of masonry to cost £4,000 - if possible, but not to exceed £5,000.

A plan had been obtained from an English architect, Edward O'Brien, but this was amended by George Strickland Kingston, who had come to South Australia as an assistant to the Surveyor General, William Light, and who had had some experience in architecture and building. When Kingston received tenders for the proposed work they were in the vicinity of £7,000. After further amendment of the plans to reduce the cost, a contract was let to the builders, Messrs East and Breeze.

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 Government House 1845