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Sydney - Day 3 - Elizabeth Bay House

Sunday 6 September 2015

We were not sure about the weather so headed to Elizabeth Bay House as it would make a good indoors activity, and if the weather picked up we could go to the Barangaroo Reserve in the afternoon.

Elizabeth Bay House was built by Alexander Macleay between 1835 and 1837. Macleay was the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales from 1826 to 1837, and in 1827 he was granted 54 acres of waterfront land at Elizabeth Bay by his good friend Governor Darling. Macleay was celebrated for his botanical interests and developed an extensive garden before starting on the building of the house. Macleay eventually succumbed to financial difficulties made worse by a depression that hit the Colony in the 1840s. The house was never completed to the original design, a Doric colonnade intended for the terrace surrounding the house was never built.

The house eventually passed to Alexander's eldest son, William Sharp Macleay, who took over his fathers debts, and William moved into the house in 1845. At this time much of the original furniture was sold and ended up in the NSW Governor's Residence. Three generations of the Macleay family lived in the house until 1903, and the house has variously been an artist's squat, a fashionable reception venue, and was divided into flats in 1941. The house was taken over by the NSW Historic House Trust, restored and opened as a museum in 1977, and is furnished in the same style as the Macleay period. Over the same period of time the 54 acre plot was subdivided on several occasions and is now a small suburban plot barely any larger than the house on which it stands.

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Alexander Macleay, the builder of Elizabeth Bay House.

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The Library at Elizabeth Bay House.

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Di, Jan and Andy with our guide in the Saloon stairwell.

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Curved doorways off the oval saloon.

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Clark Island from the front of the house.

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The Cask cellar under the house.

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The bottle cellar under the house.

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The front of Elizabeth Bay House.

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I think that Andy is planning the next move.

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Clarke Island from the front steps.

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The public garden in front of Elizabeth Bay House.

Posted by TwoAces 02:56

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