Plantation House is the Governor’s permanent residence and was the home of Sir Hudson Lowe during his tenure as Napoleon's keeper on the island. In older histories it is sometimes referred to as‘Government House’. Governor Lowe certainly made his mark on the building, adding the present Library, Billiard Room, Nursery, Kitchen, Offices, Coach House and Stables.
The Governors Quarters
Plantation House is set on a broad northwest-facing slope at the head of Young’s Valley. The main centre block of Plantation House is two stories with seven bays and a central projecting porch. The windows are sashed and shuttered, the façade has cornices, parapet, and quoins. The wings projecting at back incorporate the various alterations. The interior of the house has fine state rooms with pressed zinc ceilings.
The house has 35 rooms (though past writers have claimed there to be as many as 62) 24 are living rooms and the remaining 11 are store rooms, etc. The dining room is a massive 6.4m x 10m, as it has always been the role of the Governor to entertain many guests. The library, built by Governor Lowe in 1816, boasts a total of more than 2,000 books.
Curiously, most of the living rooms have names, recorded by a brass plaque on each door. Names include the ‘Governor’s Room’, ‘Admiral’s Room’, ‘General’s Room’ and also ‘Baron’s Room’, but there are also the ‘Blue Room’, ‘Pink Room’, etc. There apparently used to be a ‘Prince of Orange’ Room, after the 1838 visit of Prince William Henry Frederick of Holland, but nobody now knows which room that was. These plates have excited much speculation. They were placed on the doors by Governor Grey-Wilson.
The current dining room will seat 25 guests, but Governor Lowe often dined no less than 60. The chandelier in the room was originally in Longwood House and was brought to Plantation House after Napoleon’s death.