History of Government House

A Brief History of Government House

Government House was this building at Victoria Road before the house at Springfield. It later became the Girls’ High School and then the western campus of the Basseterre High School.

Government House before the balcony was added. Note the shutters.

Government House when the balcony was added. Note the change in the shutters.

Note the flag pole atop the balcony. The Union Jack Flying high.

Government House today.

1834

House built by the Blake Family around the time of emancipation. Shortly after the Blakes built the house they sold it to a planter/merchant/vestryman named Thomas Harper. Mr. Harper named the property ‘Springfield’. Later, the house became know as ‘Springfield House’

1848

Springfield House became a rector’s house (a rectory). The Venerable Francis Brathwaite felt that Spring Field House provided a style of accommodation that was more suitable to the Rector of Basseterre (himself of course) now recently elevated to the rank of Archdeacon. The Venerable  Francis Brathwaite  was the first Archdeacon of St.Kitts.  The Archdeaconry of St.Kitts was established in 1842 when the Diocese of Antigua created in said year.

1855

Springfield House was ‘conveyed in trust’ to be used for public and other purposes as the Governor, Council and Assembly so declared and appointed. In October the committee of Public Buildings commissioned the repairs of Springfield House.

1856

In February, Springfield House was appointed again for use as a residence for the Rector of Basseterre. The Venerable Archdeacon Jermyn was Rector then. Springfield House would continue to be used as a rectory by successive Archdeacons until 1882.

1882

Archdeacon Gibbs retired. He was the last Rector to reside at Springfield House.

1883

After Archdeacon Gibbs, retired, Springfield House was declared as the official residence of the Head of Government. Charles Monroe Eldrige was the Lieutenant Governor of St.Kitts from 1883 to October, 1888 (acting to 1885). Charles Monroe Eldridge was the first Head of Government to occupy Springfield House. From that time onwards the building was called ‘Government House’.

Today

Government House remains the official residence of the Governor-General