Elizabeth Bay House
Once the finest house in the colony and Sydney’s ultimate trophy home
About the building
With harbour views, sweeping staircases and spectacular landscaped gardens, Elizabeth Bay House was Sydney’s ultimate trophy home.
In 1835, colonial secretary Alexander Macleay – the most important public official in Sydney after the governor – engaged fashionable architect John Verge to design a splendid waterfront home in the Greek Revival style. It was to be the ‘finest house in the colony’ – built with considerable expense – and surrounded by spacious gardens. Macleay and his family lived in the house from 1839 to 1845, as his story was a tale of riches to ruin.
Occupying a magnificent setting overlooking the harbour, the house’s rooms have water views, heritage detailing and 19th-century furnishings. The saloon at the centre of the house features a majestic domed ceiling and elegant cantilevered staircase. Visitors can also visit the cellar and see its vaulted ceilings and sandstone walls and floors.Built
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