The entrance gates of Government House, Sydney, around 1878 / John Paine Photo
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The entrance gates of Government House, Sydney, around 1878 / John Paine Photo
1 albumen print : b & w ; 15 x 20.4 cm.
Verso carries two stamps: J. Paine / Photo / Sydney and J.R. Clarke / Publisher / & Importer of Photographs / 67 Pitt St. Opposite Exchange.
The Government House entrance gates and guardhouse, completed in 1848, are shown here in their original location on Macquarie Street. The elaborate iron gates were supported by six sandstone piers: in the centre was the ceremonial entrance, marked by metalwork lanterns complete with crowns, and this was flanked by two carriage gates and a pair of pedestrian gates.
The design of the gates and guardhouse is attributed to the Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis, the gatehouse being identical to the 'Forest Gate Keeper's Lodge' illustrated in H B Zeigler's 'The Royal Lodges in Windsor Great Park' (1839) The Gothic Revival guardhouse consisted of four rooms to accommodate the guard, with open verandahs on two sides, and it was to also serve the Treasury, completed on the opposite side of Macquarie Street c1850 (also designed by Lewis).
The entrance gates and guardhouse, as a Gothic style entrance lodge, were consistent with Picturesque ideals for the entrance to a large estate and formed an appropriately imposing entrance to the vice regal residence. The gates, at the top of Bridge Street and opposite both the Treasury and the Colonial Secretary's office, became a major landmark of the city and were decorated for the city's pageants, royal commemorations and to receive state visitors and each new governor.
With the conversion of the Stables to the Conservatorium of Music in 1915 both the gates and guardhouse were moved back from Macquarie Street to provide public access, diminishing the public face of Government House. The gates were reduced from five opening to four and the guardhouse substantially refurbished. When the Cahill Expressway was constructed from 1959-62, the gates were again repositioned, to the east of the guardhouse and the sense of entrance to Government House further compromised by exit ramp and traffic lights. In 2000 the gates were moved closer to the guardhouse and given a more visible alignment to Macquarie Street. (Robert Griffin, 2011)
Published in:
Ann Toy and Robert Griffin Government House Sydney Historic Houses Trust of NSW, 2011 p.174.
CSL&RC PIC: small picture file : Government House ; Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection
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