The current Orange Courthouse building was designed by the Colonial Government Architect James Barnet. Construction was completed in 1883. Previous buildings existed on the site, the first being erected in 1847, around the time of the town’s settlement, and operated as a Court of Petty Sessions, being the usual arrangements in those times.
Orange was proclaimed a municipality in 1860, the first meeting being held in the Courthouse, located on the same site as today, but a different structure.
The Police Court or Water Police Court in Phillip Street, Sydney near the busy waterfront of Circular Quay, no longer operates as a courthouse. Instead it is home to the Justice and Police Museum, telling stories of earlier times when water transport, merchant shipping and a busy harbour required regulating and policing to keep law and order in a rapidly developing colony.