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old Australian courthouses

Albany Courthouse 1895-96, Albany, Western Australia

The Albany Courthouse is an operating Magistrates Court for civil and criminal matters in Albany, Western Australia. On the shores of the beautiful King George Sound, the first European settlement in 1826 was really a penal colony under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales Colony, and the first ‘courthouse’ as such a simple thatched roof affair. More history can be read on the WA Government’s Department of Justice page.

Young Courthouse (former), New South Wales

Young-Courthouse-(former)Young, a town on the south-west slopes of New South Wales has two courthouse buildings. One is the operating local courthouse while the other, constructed in 1886 is now part of a school.

Orange Courthouse 1883, Orange, Central Tablelands, New South Wales

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.

Port Adelaide Courthouse 1882 (former), South Australia

Port Adelaide CourthouseThe old Port Adelaide Courthouse constructed in 1882 lies adjacent to the earlier Port Adelaide Police Station built in 1861. Inquests into deaths, often due to drownings following heavy drinking at local pubs, were held. These were inquests by juries in those times before the local police magistrate.

Armidale Courthouse 1858, Armidale, Northern Tablelands, New England, NSW

Armidale Courthouse, old Australian Courthouses, colonial Australian Courthouses, courthousesThe Armidale Courthouse and Sherriffs Office at 143-145 Beardy Street, Armidale, in the Northern Tablelands was an operating Local Court of New South Wales until January 2014.  The first courthouse was constructed in 1844 with a more substantial building erected in 1858, in the Classical Revival style.

 

Cairns Courthouse 1919 (former), QLD

Cairns Courthouse, Australian courthouses The Cairns Courthouse constructed in 1919 was described as a ‘graceful and imposing structure’. A far cry from the previous ‘disgraceful courthouse’.

Water Police Court 1886, Sydney

Water Police Court (former), Sydney
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.

Bangalow Courthouse NSW

BangalowThe Bangalow Courthouse and Police Station were originally constructed in 1909 and 1905.

Norwood Courthouse 1937, SA

Former Norwood CourthouseThe Norwood Courthouse 1937 in Norwood, Adelaide was one of the few police courthouse buildings built during the interwar period.  It was reported at the time as being the ‘most commanding building outside the City’.

Holbrook Courthouse (former) 1873, NSW

Holbrook Courthouse, early Australian Courthouses, old Australian Courthouses, colonial Australian courthouses, Australian legal history, administration of justice
In 1872 the Courthouse at Holbrook, once known as Germanton, housed a very small courtroom, described as an “apology”. Despite the cramped conditions, many matters were dealt within it.

Gundagai Courthouse, c1861, Gundagai, New South Wales

Gundagai-sideGundagai is a country town on the Murrumbidgee River in southern NSW. Famous for its statue of a dog sitting on a tuckerbox, immortalised in a song, Gundagai has a long history of settlement. The Gundagai Courthouse occupies an elevated position above the main street, affording it a commanding view over the township and the surrounding picturesque river valley.

Willunga Courthouse (former), 1855, South Australia

Willunga Courthouse, early Australian courthouses, old Australian courthouses When the local magistrate felt that it was no longer possible to maintain the required order and decorum for a court of justice in the local Bush Inn, the drive was on for a purpose built courthouse.

Auburn Courthouse 1860, South Australia

Auburn Courthouse, Auburn Courthouse and Police Station.old Australian courthouses, early Australian courthouses The Auburn Courthouse in Auburn in the mid-north of South Australia was constructed in 1860 of local bluestone. Auburn was an important stop-over point at the time from the mining areas around Burra to the north and the coastal port on St Vincent’s Gulf.