Building of the first section of Government House began in 1839. Previous to this, the Governor John Hindmarsh, and then his successor George Gawler, lived in a three-roomed wattle and daub cottage with calico ceiling. However, Governor Gawler had grander plans and commissioned a new residence to be built. The final cost was a not-insignificant £5,000 — greater than a whole year’s revenue for the new colony.
Back in England, a select committee was appointed to inquire into the colony’s affairs and, although he was not overly criticised for his performance to date, in 1841 Governor Gawler was recalled. In 1855–56 and 1872–78, as the fortunes of the colony improved, additions were made to Government House.
Today, Government House remains the official residence of the Governor of South Australia.