From the junction of Blackwatch Pass and North Shore Road, you can also see the impressive lawns of Government House, whose Victorian towers overlook north Hamilton and the North Shore. Not open to the public, the property is the home of Bermuda’s resident British governor, currently Sir Richard Gozney and his wife Diana, who hold numerous official functions here.
Built in the late 1800s, Government House sits on 210 acres of manicured lawns and gardens, tennis courts, and an Olympic-length swimming pool, forests of cedar and spice trees, and mature plantings over the years by previous British governors or royal visitors. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have stayed here, along with Prince Charles, Sir Winston Churchill, and President John F. Kennedy.
The property, which flies the British governor’s own flag when he’s on the island, was tainted with a horrific crime in 1973, when then-governor Sir Richard Sharples was shot dead while walking his dog at night, as was his aide-de-camp, Captain Hugh Sayers. Two Bermudian men were convicted and hanged, and ensuing race riots marked the most bitter, turbulent episode in the island’s modern history.
The property is the site of the Queen’s Birthday cocktail party in June, held to honor Bermudians receiving lifetime achievement awards bestowed by Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth citizens.