Bishops Palace, Ballarat

by AF

Bishops Palace, Ballarat

Bishops Palace was built in 1877 as the residence of Bishop Michael O’Connor – the first bishop of the Diocese of Ballarat – and to provide space for the diocesan headquarters. The Ballarat Diocese was the first Victorian diocese outside of Melbourne and had opened the St Patrick’s Cathedral across the street from the palace just six years earlier.

The 2-storey Gothic bluestone mansion was designed by Reed and Barnes and built at a cost of £6,000. It was constructed by George Broom with internal plasterwork by William Taylor. It featured cast iron verandahs with ecclesiastical designs, a private chapel with an Italian marble altar and a dining room that could seat fifty guests.

The land was originally on a larger 11 acre block which sloped down towards Lake Wendouree. Consequent subdividing over the years has whittled the block down to a still impressive 3.6 acres.

The six-bedroom home is no longer in the Church, as evidenced by a sacrilegious jacuzzi tub in what may possibly have been the original chapel. The house was listed for sale recently with an asking price of $6,500,000.


1444 Sturt Street, Ballarat, Victoria

Property information and images via