Government House, Canberra – Fact sheet 166

Governor Generals residence, Government House Canberra,1959
Government House Canberra, 1959 (A1500, K4590)

Government House Canberra, the Governor-General’s Canberra residence, was purchased by the Commonwealth in 1913. The main residence, a fine three-storey building, had been the homestead of the Yarralumla property. Used as living quarters for visiting dignitaries, such as members of parliament, in the years of Canberra’s construction, the Yarralumla residence underwent extensive alterations and additions during 1925–26 to equip it as the Governor-General’s residence on the relocation of the seat of government to Canberra in 1927. Further alterations were made to the building in 1936.

Records relating to Government House

The National Archives in Canberra holds a range of architectural plans and drawings that document the alterations and additions to the Yarralumla residence. Examples of these are included in the tables that follow.

Architectural drawings for Government House

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesArchitectural drawings with AA prefix1925–28A2501
ItemDetails of picture rails1925–30A2501, AA155
ItemAlterations to Porte Cochere Official Entrance1925–30A2501, AA157
ItemADC quarters – Pilasters to entrance1925–30A2501, AA196
ItemNew stable block – amended plan1925–30A2501, AA201
ItemSuggested sites for conservatory and fuel shed1925–30A2501, AA329
ItemStable block boiler1925–30A2501, AA338
ItemSentry box1925–30A2501, AA472
SeriesArchitectural drawings with AC prefix1925–31A2503
ItemHalf inch detail of east elevation (AC917)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemDetails of entrance and vestibule (AC918)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemAlterations and additions (AC919)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemJoinery details, windows to dining room (AC946)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemDoors and sidelights to official entrance (AC949)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemAlterations to gables (AC950)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemJoinery details – Secretary’s Office (AC952)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemJoinery details – servants’ quarters (AC953)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemGovernment House – alterations and additions (AC476)1913–30A2503, folder 3
ItemDetails of boiler room (AC908)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemNew stable block(AC910)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemFire places in Governor-General’s and ADC’s room (AC911)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemDetails of ceilings, first and second floors – main building (AC913)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemDetails of stairs to lookout on main roof (AC915)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemADC’s quarters (AC922)1913–30A2503, folder 4
ItemAlterations to bays, first floor (AC934)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemFull size detail (AC936)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemDetails of doors and windows to Governor-General’s room (AC938)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemDetails of fireplace and mantles to drawing room (AC945)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemDetail of veranda near Private Secretary’s room (AC956)1913–30A2503, folder 5
ItemGovernment House – cottages (AC1401)1913–30A2503, folder 7
ItemDetail of conservatory (AC1500)1913–30A2503, folder 7
ItemEntrance gates – Royal Coat of Arms (AC1538)1913–30A2503, folder 8
ItemEntrance gates – Australian Coat of Arms (AC1539)1913–30A2503, folder 8
SeriesArchitectural drawings with AF prefix1925–30A2505
ItemFull size detail of cornice1925–30A2505, AF541
ItemDetail of box framed windows1925–30A2505, AF571
ItemDetail of balcony1925–30A2505, AF521
ItemDetail of joinery1925–30A2505, AF561
SeriesArchitectural drawings with AG prefix1930A2506
ItemStaircase1930A2506, AG209
ItemDetail of dining room1930A2506, AG198
ItemServants’ quarters1930A2506, AG207
ItemAlterations and additions to stable block1930A2506, AG202
SeriesAperture cards for ACT architectural plans and drawings1921–59A9663
ItemAmended site planundatedA9663, 10875
ItemInstallation of dumb waiterundatedA9663, 15808
ItemExtension to 2nd floor fire escapeundatedA9663, 15862
ItemDetails to staff cottageundatedA9663, 17790
ItemDrainage schemeundatedA9663, AC939
ItemStaircaseundatedA9663, AF51
ItemBox framed windowsundatedA9663, AF57
ItemServants' quartersundatedA9663, AG207
ItemAlterations and additionsundatedA9663, 9956A
ItemReception roomundatedA9663, 10626
ItemNew fireplace – sitting roomundatedA9663, 21929
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019