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Following the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, the first governor Captain James Stirling and his family were initially housed in tents on a site near the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace, known today as Stirling Gardens and Supreme Court Gardens. In 1832 a temporary wooden building was constructed on the same site and used until the so-called original Government House was built a short distance away near the present-day site between 1834 and 1835. 

This building served successive governors until work began on the new present-day Government House, for which the foundation stone was laid on 17 March 1859. The 1834/35 building was demolished in the 1880s.

The present Government House was built at a cost of £15,000 largely by convicts. Governor John Hampton took up residence in 1863, prior to its completion in 1864. 

 In the 1890s, a ballroom was added, designed by or under the direction of government architect, Hillson Beasley, who designed a number of other public buildings in the city.













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