Elizabeth Bay House
With harbour views, sweeping staircases and spectacular landscaped gardens, Elizabeth Bay House was Sydney’s ultimate trophy home. Built for colonial secretary Alexander Macleay, after the governor, the most important public official in Sydney, it was by all accounts the finest house in the colony. Yet it tells a familiar story: of ambition and passion, of riches to ruin.
Elizabeth Bay House is a superb example of colonial architecture in a magnificent setting overlooking Sydney Harbour. The house was restored and opened as a house museum in 1977. Elegantly furnished to the period of 1839 to 1845, the interiors reflect the lifestyle of the Macleays and present an evocative picture of 19th century life. The house was once surrounded by an extensive 54 acre garden and described as a ‘botanist’s paradise’. Alexander Macleay was a renowned gentleman scientist who established a significant library and entomology collection and had extensive interests in botany.