The house was built out of pine wood in the year 1801 by Ísleifur Einarsson, appointed head judge of the newly created National High Court. Following a Scandinavian design called bolhús, the house is believed to be the first built on Austursræti.
Higher up’s in the Danish king’s court found the building so impressive, they awarded Ísleifur a monetary price. The foundation was loaded with rocks. The size was measured in 11×21 cubits with the buildings longer side facing Austursræti. Six windows faced the Austurstræti side with the main entrance in the middle.
The main lounge was found in the northwest corner, with another room coming of the lounge. In the northeast corner was an office, which also had a room coming of it which reached the buildings southern wall. The dining room could be found in the south east corner with the kitchen on the southern side of the centre of the house.
In the year 1805 Ísleifur sold the house to Count Trampe the then governor of Iceland, as Iceland was a province of Denmark at the time. Trampe did a lot of renovations on the house for example he added a hearth loaded out of 700 bricks. It is believed that the hearth is the same one as is in the building today.
Trampe had the roof and the western side of the house redone, he also had shutters build for most of the windows as well as redoing the window sills . He also had parts of the house fitted with decorations.
Jörgen Jörgensen, Settled into the house in the year 1809 for the duration of his short stint in power. Governor Castenskjold also lived in the house as well as Count Moltek Who later moved the governor’s residence to the prison by Arnarhóll.
The national high court which had been housed in Austursræti 4 moved into the house and made it it´s home until the year 1873. By that time the prison by Skólavörðustígur had been built and the National high court was moved to its second floor. The national high courts Court house was on the west side of Aðalstræti 22, While the municipal assembly chamber was housed in the east end. At that time Reykjavik boasted of two police officers whom had apartments on two separate levels of the house.
Upstairs vas a prison nicknamed the blackhole, due to its poor lighting. The house was also home to the very popular pia-dances, organised by officer Hendrichsen. Hendrichsen was known to play the flute himself as his guests danced to the music, and as word has it, he may have had a drink or two himself on those occasions. One thing we know for sure is that not everybody was happy with officer Hendrichsen´s efforts to keep people dancing, and eventually he was removed from his position due to complaints from higher ups.
After the National high court had vacated the house the Icelandic priest school moved inn from the house of Sívertsen. Class rooms were on the lower level while the schools care taker lived on the top level. The priest school was located in the house until the year 1911, when the university of Iceland’s theology department was first opened in the house of parliament by Austurvöllur.
As quoted from the book Kvósin by Hjörleifur Stefánsson and Guðný Gerður Gunnarsdóttir. A Danish Army Fleet was sent to Iceland for the national meeting in the year 1851 and stayed for the winter. At that time there was a red army station in front of the house manned by an armed guard day and night.