Government House, Stanley


Government House is the official home of the Falkland Islands' Governors. It is a listed building. Sir Ernest Shackelton stayed there during his famous expedition and allegedly described his stay there as being 'far colder than any time on ice'. Government House was the site of a major battle and surrender during the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Work on a new Government House for Stanley began in 1845 after the relocation to the new town from Port Louis by the small British settlement under Governor Moody which began in 1843. The original Government House was a small wooden building, built in 1844 and situated to the north-west of the present house. It initially served as a dwelling house and office until 1847 when it became solely a dwelling house. Governor Moody himself planned the new Government House, probably only completing the eastern stone-built wing. Governor Moore (1855-62), following Moody’s plan, completed the central stone building with its thick walls which contains the drawing room on the ground floor with the governor’s dressing-room and bedroom above it.
Over the decades other governors added different wings to the original building. Between 1881 and 1883 Governor Kerr added the western wing giving the house four extra bedrooms. Governor Grey-Wilson, attempted more improvements and in 1900  stone stables with lofts were erected south of the main building, (the governor travelled by horse or boat until the arrival of motor cars, later in 1930, the stables were converted to servants quarters and a large recreation room) and in 1901 work was started on a single roof to unite extensions,  to add a new dining room, a kitchen and offices, a billiard room, and servants bedrooms.  Two conservatories were added to the north front of the house in 1901 and 1902. Gorse hedges flank the eastern approach drive, thanks to Governor Heaton and trees and macrocarpa hedges (planted in the 1930s) run down from the house to Ross Road.




Sources include: Falkland Islands Journal article by C Haskard February 1971
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Photographic credits: Header: Jean Sinclair