The Grounds

The house is situated on 15 hectares of land.  It is part of a complete estate comprising 4.5 hectares of established gardens and ponds, paddocks, cottages, stables and other buildings.

The gardens are regarded as one of the finest private gardens from the Victorian era in the country.  They are thought to have been laid out by Mr William Thomas, landscape gardener, in accordance with plans drawn up by the architect of Government House, William Porden Kay.  The garden has been maintained much as it was developed in the 1850s and 1860s and includes fowl yards, an orchard, and kitchen and picking gardens.  The produce from the garden is used in the Government House kitchen.  Five full time gardeners are responsible for all aspects of the garden’s maintenance.

The quarry pond and the pond just inside the main entrance were originally the sites of two sandstone quarries, stone from which was used in the construction of the House.

Some of the trees on the grounds, including the oak avenues, pre-date Government House having been planted in the 1840s.  As the garden ages new trees are being planted in anticipation of some of the older trees dying.  Over the years trees have been planted by visiting royalty, heads of state of other distinguished visitors, these trees are marked with brass plaques.

Cattle can often be seen grazing in the paddocks in front of the House.  They are the property of the Jordan River Learning Federation School Farm at Brighton.