Virtual Tour: The Grounds
In the social and architectural development of the area, in the shaping of the townscape, Government House has been a critical factor.
The grounds are intended to reflect this status. The house is set well back so that it is a landscape feature and its mass is visible from all approaches. The trees that now fill much of the south lawn - and are among the taller trees in Newfoundland - are an addition to what was originally a fairly open site.
One can get a sense of what the grounds were like originally by looking north west from the main entrance. There the land is open, treed only near the house. This is sometimes considered waste ground, ground that should be planted or built on, but it is one of the last untouched open spaces left in the city - one that is fully open. It serves as a remarkable basket of light both for Government House and for those who pass by the grounds. It is an unusual and delightful civic feature.
In the middle of the 19th century a typically Victorian ornamental garden was developed on the North and South Lawns. That on the North Lawn has now disappeared as has the tennis court which was built near St. Thomas' Church in about 1880. Much of the cultivated area is now on the South Lawn.
There are three lodges on the property of which that at the main entrance is the oldest but also the most altered over the years.