Burn's painting of Sandridge (Port Melbourne) not only reveals his considerable skill and interest in capturing the changing effects of light and atmosphere, but also provides topographical evidence of Melbourne's past. The view looks north, showing the masts of ships docked in the port and the prominent buildings of the Victorian Sugar Company, later the premises of the Swallow & Ariell Steam Biscuit Company.
Before arriving in Melbourne aboard the Baltimore in January 1853, Henry Burn produced a number of lithographs featuring topographical views of English towns. Between 1855 and 1876, he painted many views of Melbourne and the surrounding districts. A characteristic of both his paintings and his lithographs is his attention to detail and painstaking delineation of buildings and landmarks, usually depicted from a distant vantage point. Typically, his works feature carefully positioned foliage as framing devices, with small groups of figures or animals providing scale and interest.
Burn contributed work to several exhibitions, including the Melbourne Public Library Exhibition of 1869. The State Library Victoria holds many of his works.