Government House, Guernsey
|Bailiwick of Guernsey|
|Town:||St Peter Port|
|Address:||The Queen's Road|
|Owned by:||The Crown|
The house performs an important public role, hosting a variety of events, and receiving guests from all over the world. The grounds are a venue which have been used for public events such as charity fêtes and school sports days.
Governement House is also the residence of the Queen when visiting Guernsey, and princes and official visitors stay at here during visits to the island.
The current Government House is the latest of sixteen buildings that have housed the Lieutenant-Governors and family. The current house was originally known as 'Le Mont' and built as a private house, though in its history is has served as the Lieutenant-Governor's residence twice.
The house was built in the eighteenth century by Nicolas Maingy as an elegant new mansion at the corner made by Mont Durant and Petite Marché, and it was from the beginning a house of some status. Major General John Small, the Lieutenant-Governor between 1793 and 1796 lived at Le Mont. Thereafter it reverted to private ownership. For a time it belonged to Jean Allaire, who became one of the wealthiest men of the island through ruthless privateering.
Le Mont, or 'The Mount' as it had become know, was purchased by the Crown in 1925 to serve as the Lieutenat-Governor's residence, and renamed 'Government House'. It has remained the official residence ever since.
For the period of the German occupation during the Second World War, the house was used as the residence of the German Kommandant of Guernsey.
The house is set within around ten acres of elegant parkland and landscaped gardens. There are many mature trees of all varieties including two planted by Her Majesty The Queen during her visits in 1989 and 2001, and a number planted to commemorate other Royal visits. The grounds also contain a specialist camellia collection.
There is in the grounds a splendid Victorian walled garden of some 2,000 square yards, which is reckoned to be one of the best examples of a traditional walled garden in the British Isles. It is not all for show: the walled garden is a functional kitchen garden supplying the kitchen of Governent House with a hundred varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as the flowers which decorate the house.