Cowra Courthouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Cowra Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Cowra Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: 82-86 Kendal Street, Cowra, NSW 2794
Parish: Cowra
County: Bathurst
Local govt. area: Cowra
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
82-86 Kendal StreetCowraCowraCowraBathurstPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

Cowra Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the region since 1880 and dates from a key period of expansion of a major public works program in NSW during the last three decades of the 19th Century. The building is a good, representative example of country courthouses in NSW and is a good example of popular architectural styles adapted for the local climate. Cowra Courthouse features dark red brick with contrasting cement moulding details and is located on a prominent corner in the town.
Date significance updated: 26 Nov 10
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: James Barnet and Walter Liberty Vernon - Colonial Goverment Architects
Construction years: 1880-1909
Physical description: Cowra Courthouse is an elegant building complex constructed of dark red brick with contrasting rendered cement moulding. The building features gable end walls and decorative timber posts and verandas. The courtroom features a fine timber public gallery. Other accommodation: Judge and Magistrates chamber, Crown room, Jury room, Sheriffs office, general office, staff room, witness room, stores, records room, legal room.

Construction: The Cowra Courthouse is constructed in face brick and features decorative rendered cement detailing and timber posted verandas. The roofs are clad in corrugated iron. (Schwager Brooks 1993).

Interior materials: timber joinery.
Exterior materials: brick, render, corrugated iron.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Fair (April 2007)
Date condition updated:26 Nov 10
Modifications and dates: New entrance added 1892. The interiors also appear to have been renovated at a later date. (Schwager Broks 1993).
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse

History

Historical notes: The Cowra Courthouse was designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet and was opened in 1880.

An earlier courthouse had been in use in Cowra prior to the construction of the current courthouse in 1880. Following the completion of the current courthouse, it was suggested that the old courthouse be used as a post and telegraph. Tenders were called for the construction of the current courthouse in 1879.

The new courthouse was opened in August 1880 by the Hon H E Baker and the local member Mr Lynch. However it appears that the courthouse was not completed at this stage, as tenders were called for its completion in 1881 following requests made by Mr Lynch. Further additions were made to the courthouse in 1882.

In 1892, major alterations were undertaken to the fa├žade of the building. These were designed by the Colonial Architect Walter Liberty Vernon.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Cowra Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the region since 1880. The building dates from a key period of expansion of a major public works program in NSW during the last 3 decades of the 19th Century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Cowra Courthouse is associated with two government architects: James Barnet, Colonial Architect of NSW from 1862-1890 & Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of NSW from 1890-1911.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Cowra Courthouse is a fine country courthouse constructed of dark red brick with contrasting cement moulding details. The building demonstates technical features associated with adapting European architectural styles to the local climate, featuring deep verandahs and upper storey ventilation. Cowra Courthouse is located on a prominent corner in the town.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Cowra Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution in the town.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Cowra Courhouse is a representative example of country courthouses in NSW. The building displays the principal characteristics of the standard courthouse plan, with a grand double-height central court room and single storey wings on either side.
Integrity/Intactness: Moderately intact with a moderate level of integrity.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanCowra LEP 2012I625 Jan 13   
Local Environmental Plan  23 Nov 90 15210274
Heritage study  13 Jun 03   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Cowra Shire Community Heritage Study2003 Heritage Archaeology, Kingston ACT  Yes
Cowra Shire Community Heritage Study2003 Heritage Archaeology, Kingston ACT  Yes
Cowra Shire Community Heritage Study2003 Heritage Archaeology, Kingston ACT  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenSydney Morning Herald 27/7/1881, 23/8/1880, 14/6/1879, 5/5/1879  

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1470005


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