Take a guided tour of this 18th-century colonial house to learn about its former residents, who range from kings to naval commanders.
Clarence House is an elegant colonial-era landmark set on a hilltop above the eastern banks of English Harbour. Visit the house to see rooms decorated with well-preserved period furniture and enjoy views over Nelson’s Dockyard. Clarence House was once a home and favored vacation spot of British royalty and naval captains. Today it serves as the residence of the governor-general of Antigua and Barbuda in addition to being a venue for private events.
First built in 1783, the house underwent major refurbishments in 1803. Hurricanes inflicted severe damage to the building in the 1990s and further restorations were carried out in 2016. Look for the aspects of Georgian and Palladian architecture, with stone steps leading to a loggia-style balcony. Among the house’s esteemed past guests are members of the British royal family, such as King William IV, Princess Margaret and Prince Harry.
When the governor-general is not home, join a guided tour of the house. You’ll get the chance to visit the living quarters, hear stories about past guests and learn about the building’s evolution. Highlights include the bedroom, complete with a mahogany four-poster bed and an elegant chaise lounge. In another room are a wooden bathtub and an 18th-century chest of drawers, with a built-in chamber pot.
On other days, depending on who is staying at the house, come and appreciate the 200-year-old restored exterior. The views from the garden are exquisite at all times. Look down on the glistening water of Freeman’s Bay, spot luxury yachts moored at the marina and admire the green hills that rise up behind Nelson’s Dockyard.
It’s easy to get to Clarence House by catching a taxi from Nelson’s Dockyard. If you are feeling energetic, walk here in about 40 minutes from the dockyard. Combine your time here with a visit to nearby attractions. Delve into Antiguan history at the Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre and marvel at the panoramic views from Shirley Heights.