View of sandstone walled cottage with trees.

Glover Cottages, exterior. Photo © Gillian Redman-Lloyd

Glover Cottages

Sunday 3 November

124 Kent Street, Sydney

See on map




Thomas Glover

The heritage-listed Glover Cottages in Millers Point are a rare surviving example of colonial Georgian architecture. They were first occupied by Thomas Glover, a miner from Somerset transported to Australia aged 19 for stealing a rabbit. Glover had worked as a stonemason on some notable Sydney buildings before becoming the publican of the Sailor’s Return in nearby Cumberland Street.

Built in the 1820s from local sandstone, the cottages were adapted from the rural English style for an Australian urban setting, and are thought to be among the first semidetached terraces to appear in Sydney.

The cottages remained in the Glover family for generations after Thomas’s death, though their survival was something of a lottery. Outbreaks of the bubonic plague between 1901 and 1910 led to the demolition of many buildings in the area, although Glover Cottages were ultimately spared along with the nearby Lord Nelson Hotel.

The prior quarrying of sandstone in the area, combined with the later lowering of Kent Street, left Glover Cottages stranded high above their neighbours. Appearing to have ‘run aground’, the cottages have been nicknamed ‘the Ark’ by locals since the end of the 1800s.

In 1977 the Glover Cottages interiors were restored and repurposed for modern life, preserving them for future generations. Currently they house the Sydney office of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), a non-profit platform for research, debate and understanding of international relations in Australia.

On Sunday 3 November

What’s open?

The two cottages and the courtyard.

Talks, tours & more

to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Toilets available

  • Entrance is up a steep slope so not suitable for wheelchairs or prams.

Opening hours


Last entry



124 Kent Street, Sydney


Glover Cottages’ involvement in Sydney Open has been made possible by AIIA NSW.