Government House stands on St Saviour’s Hill. It is built on land which was bought by the Reverend Philip Le Breton in 1803 (Rector of St Saviour’s Church) who built a house on the site.
In 1814 Francis Janvrin, a prosperous ship owner, bought the property from the Rector and demolished it. He then built the present Government House on the site and called it Belmont.
In 1822 the Lieutenant-Governor Major General Sir Colin Halkett acquired the house. He was unhappy with the one he lived in, which was in King Street where the New Look (previously Woolworths) shop stands today. He thought that the Lieutenant-Governor “would at Belmont possess the desirable opportunity of seeing together, without apparent partiality, such of the inhabitants, and strangers, as naturally expected to be invited to Government House”.
During World War II, the house was occupied by the Germans and General von Schmettow lived there as Commandant. The butler and his wife remained and it was largely due to them that the property remained intact.
Government House today
Today Government House remains as the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor and his wife. They entertain over 3,000 guests each year at functions in the house and grounds.
Royalty and other important official visitors stay at Government House during their visits to Jersey. The last time HM The Queen stayed was in 2005 for the 60th Anniversary of Liberation.
Past and present Governors and Lieutenant-Governors
There have been Governors and Lieutenant-Governors since 1470. The current Lieutenant-Governor is General Sir John McColl KCB, CBE, DSO.
Download list of Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of Jersey (size 27kb)