Bishops Palace Gardens
Architect: Reed and Barnes
The Bishop’s Palace is one of the most imposing houses in Ballarat. It owes its existence to the Roman Catholic Church, which commissioned the building in 1873 as a home for the first bishop (Bishop O’Connor),and diocesan headquarters. Designed by Reed and Barnes and completed in 1877, the two-storey Gothic bluestone mansion sits amid an eleven-acre expanse of garden featuring native trees, statues and an impressive water feature—nurtured over the years by just two owners after the property was vacated by the bishops. It has a two-level verandah with an ecclesiastical cast-iron design—while two projecting bays on the symmetrical front facade incorporate the balcony. Grand entrance gates open to a winding driveway which leads to the house through a formally landscaped area with mature trees and shrubs. At the rear is an open paddock, which allows views of the house from the lake and Wendouree Parade—this rural setting to an urban house is quite unique in Victoria. The scale and grandeur of the building and garden are testament to the power and importance of the church at the time.
Need to Know
Open: Saturday 3 & Sunday 29 October 10-4pm
Tour Details: Self guided tours of gardens and external tour of main property. No booking required. Just turn up on the day.
Building Type: Residential
Special Programming: To gain access to the ground floor interiors, the owners have collaborated with Craig’s Royal Hotel on a High Tea exclusively for Open House Ballarat. Visit What’s On for more details
Year Built: 1877
1444 Sturt St, Lake Wednouree VIC