1842 The first Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Henry Pottinger, authorises the construction of a house by A.R. Johnston, Deputy Superintendent of Trade, on Inland Lot No. 82, at the top of Battery Path.
1842 - 1843 Construction of the first building on this site, a two-storey stone and brick building with a verandah on three sides, later known as “Johnston’s House”.
1843 - 1846 The government rents the house at $150 per month as a temporary residence for the Governor.
1846 - 1848 Used as temporary accommodation for the Supreme Court.
1860 Expanded into a three-storey building with basement and two corner towers.
1860s - late 1876 Rented to Heard & Co. and other companies. Used in the 1870s as the Russian Consulate.
1879 Acquired by E.R. Belilios, a merchant, renamed “Beaconsfield” in 1882, and leased for various uses, including accommodation for the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank and Butterfield & Swire.
1897 - 1911 Leased by the government for use as offices by the Attorney General, Crown Solicitor, Education Department and Sanitary Department.
1915 Acquired by the Missions Étrangères de Paris and renamed “French Mission Building”.
1917 Completion of conversion into a three-storey building of Neo-Classical style, constructed in granite and red bricks with a chapel topped by a cupola added in the north-west corner.
Shortly before 1941 Occupied by Government.
1941 - 1945 Occupied by Japanese Army.
August 1945 Used as temporary headquarters of provisional Hong Kong Government.
1946 - 1948 Served as temporary accommodation for the Supreme Court.
1952 Purchased by Government from Missions Étrangères de Paris for $2.85 million and used as offices for various government departments, including the Education Department (1953–67) and Information Services Department. The building is known as the French Mission Building.
1968 - 1978
(and 1983 - 1987)
Used as Victoria District Court.
1978 - 1983 Used as the Supreme Court.
1987 - 1997 Used by Information Services Department.
1989 Declared a monument under Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap.53).
1997 - 2015 Used as Court of Final Appeal.

Click here for Photo Gallery and here for Virtual Tour