You are here: >> Home >> Historic Australian courthouses

Historic Australian Courthouses

Armidale Courthouse, Australian Courthouses, old courthouses, WillsHub


Historic Australian Courthouses – a gallery in progress

Historic Australian courthouses reflect a diversity of places, history and heritage of the  buildings used for the administration of justice. Some continue to be used as a courthouse, but many are not, others no longer exist.  Alternative uses for courthouse buildings sold into private hands include private dwellings – especially those originally attached to police stations, museums, galleries, restaurants, community use, visitor’s centres, bed and breakfast establishment, and even a church.

“….in future these buildings are not to be used for entertainments or meetings of any kind, but reserved for the administration of justice..”1 NSW Government, 1880.

Many NSW country courthouses were originally used as Courts of Petty Sessions.  Courts of Petty Sessions were abolished and Local Courts were established in 1985.

The dates given are an indication of when a courthouse was constructed as far as can be ascertained.  As communities and needs grew, courthouse facilities often went through a series of add-ons and refurbishments.


New South Wales








South Australia




Western Australia













Northern Territory


Old Darwin Courthouse, Australian Courthouses, early Australian Courthouses, Colonial Australian Courthouses, old Australian Courthouses

Historic Darwin Courthouse, 1884, Northern Territory.


A list of short articles on selected courthouses can be browsed here.

A list of early courthouses in Queensland noted for their architectural significance and their history can be found on the Sir Harry Gibbs Legal Heritage Centre here.   The colony of Queensland was established separately from New South Wales in 1859, and the colony of Victoria in 1851.


1.  Government circular forwarded throughout the Colony of New South Wales, Queanbeyan Age, 30 Oct 1880, p. 2.

B Stead, last updated 5 October 2020
BHS Legal