Skip to content

Victoria Lodge Consultation

Opening hours:

2 December - 16 December 2017
Monday, Wednesday & Saturday
11 am - 3 pm

15 January – 31 January 2018
Monday, Wednesday & Saturday
11 am – 3 pm


Over its 152 year history Victoria Lodge has embraced its position as garden sentinel, standing proud guard over the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Farm Cove. Used for many years as an office and family home, it then sat vacant, underutilised and sadly in decline.

History of Victoria Lodge

Built in 1865 for 476 pounds, Victoria Lodge provided both a residence and a landscape feature to protect the Garden
and Farm Cove. Victoria Lodge is considered of Exceptional Cultural Significance at a State Level as it is the only surviving Lodge constructed to define the extremities and boundaries on either side of Farm Cove.
The Lower Garden Precinct in which Victoria Lodge sits is also of Exceptional National importance.
The design and character of Victoria Lodge perfectly demonstrate the picturesque and garden qualities introduced
by Governor Macquarie from 1816. These attributes were further developed by Charles Moore, the Garden’s Director
for 48 years from 1848.
Together these two custodians of the Garden transformed the Lower Garden into what we know and see today.

About the building

The 1865 tower you see at Victoria Lodge was constructed with pale coloured sandstone most likely locally quarried.
The wall areas are sparrow picked finished with the sandstone base, having a rock faced finish. A new wing
providing a sitting room was added to Victoria Lodge in 1897 constructed of Sydney Yellow Block sandstone with a dressed and rubbed finish. The front façade contains a projecting bay which features six multi-paned windows and stone mullions. Palisade fencing was constructed in 1900 along Mrs Macquaries Road, and included a gateway. A lean-to bathroom was added sometime between 1913 and 1921.
Inside you will see that many of the internal finishes have been modified and date from the 1960s.
The tower of the building reinforces the landmark qualities of the lodge.
Its design attributed to colonial architect, James Barnet in the Italianate Style, the sandstone building was highly
visible from Bennelong Point, the Garden and along Mrs Macquaries Road.
A similar gardener’s cottage was built in 1856 near the Governor’s Bathing House; however, this was later
demolished in 1912 because it was deemed that ‘its occupation of an exceptional site blocked necessary
landscaping improvements.’


The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney recently invested $700,000 to repair and restore the cottage. With phase one of its rectification works complete, it’s now time to reimagine this building for the future.


Architectural adaptive reuse aims to achieve greater social, environmental and economic objectives from our heritage. The concept behind adaptive reuse is to sustainably reimagine the current buildings, while meeting high standards for revitalisation, conservation and community engagement.
Victoria Lodge and other heritage buildings within the Garden, such as, Lion Gate Lodge, Rathborne Lodge and Domain Lodge, will all play a significant role in conserving the history and value of our Garden, Sydney and NSW well into the future. 

In order to preserve Victoria Lodge, sustainable sources of revenue (for example through adaptive reuse as a tea room, restaurant, function space or café) are being considered. All sources of revenue achieved can then be reinvested back into the building and its environs for ongoing maintenance, upkeep and protection.


As we reflect on the history of Victoria Lodge, we are now seeking ideas from local stakeholders, friends and visitors to the Garden.

How do you think we can reimagine Victoria Lodge to protect it and keep it open to the public into the future?

Please email your ideas and suggestions to

Consultation period:

4 December 2017 - 31 January 2018
Email us: