The single storey mansion house with enclosed glass verandah, "Burswood" at Portland was erected in 1855 on a site overlooking the Portland Bay for English born pioneer colonist Edward Henty. The architect was John Barrow. The building comprises a central block of fine axed basalt ashlar and slate roof (now replaced) with flanking brick wings forming an enclosed rear courtyard. Burswood at Portland is the most important early mansion house in Western Victoria, being an exceptionally fine classically derived villa design by the distinguished colonial architect John Barrow. Edward Henty, a prominent member of one of Australia's most remarkable colonial families established himself at Portland Bay in 1834 and "Burswood" is testimony to his success as an early colonist. Henty lived in the horne for 17 years.