Braidwood Courthouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Braidwood Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Braidwood Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Wallace Street, Braidwood, NSW 2622
Local govt. area: Palerang
Hectares (approx): 0.04325
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Wallace StreetBraidwoodPalerang  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Attorney General's DepartmentState Government 

Statement of significance:

Braidwood Courthouse is a modest Federation Free style public that demonstrates the dignified, civic style of architecture adopted by the Public Works Department under Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon following the economic depression of the 1890s. The building has been associated with the provision of justice in the town since 1900, and though no longer used as a courthouse, retains a civic function through its use as government offices.
Date significance updated: 13 Oct 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.


Designer/Maker: WL Vernon
Construction years: 1900-1902
Physical description: The Braidwood Courthouse is designed in the Federation Free Style. It is a simple single storey building housed under one hipped roof. The front elevation is classically inspired and features two enclosed end bays with typical Federation detailing including arched multipanelled and glazed windows and a portico entrance supported on four Doric columns. The rourtroom retains all of its original furniture and fittings including a marble fireplace, coffered ceilings with pressed metal panels and joinery. (Schwager Brooks 1993) The courthouse has three courtyards at the rear and is set back from the street in spacious, landscaped grounds.
Other accommodation: Part leased to police and Rural Lands Protection Board.
Interior materials: Pressed metal, joinery, plaster.
Exterior materials: Brick, slate.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good. (2001)
Date condition updated:29 Sep 10
Modifications and dates: Only minor alerations since construction.
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Government offices


Historical notes: Braidwood Courthouse was completed in 1902 to a design by Colonial Architect Walter Liberty Vernon. The design for the building combined brickwork with a roughcast render in the Federation Free Style.

The current courthouse replaced an earlier courthouse constructed on the same site in 1837 by Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson. It is believed that the well of the former courthouse lies directly beneath the present courtroom floor. The foundation stone of the Vernon-designed courthouse was laid by NSW Premier Sir WJ Lyne in November 1900.

Braidwood Courthouse ceased to hear proceedings in the 1980s and was converted to a police station and other government offices.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Administration of justice-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Police-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups -

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Braidwood Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1900 and replaced an earlier courthouse established in the town in 1837.
The courthouse is an important element of the State significant town of Braidwood.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Braidwood Courthouse is associated with Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of New South Wales from 1890-1911, who was responsible for the design of all courthouses built in NSW during this time.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Braidwood Courthouse is an attractive, modest public building set back from the street in landscaped grounds. The building makes a significant contribution to the streetscape.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Braidwood Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Braidwood Courthouse has some research potential relating to an earlier courthouse built on the same site.
SHR Criteria g)
The restrained scale, materials and detailing of Braidwood Courthouse demonstrate the dignified, civic style of architecture adopted by the Public Works Department under Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon following the economic depression of the 1890s. Braidwood Courthouse is a good example of its type.
Integrity/Intactness: Braidwood Courthouse is highly intact and, despite ceasing to function as a courthouse in the 1980s, retains a high 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.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenGraham Edds & Associates2001Braidwood Court House Conservation Management Plan
WrittenSchwager Brooks and Partners Pty Ltd1993Department of Courts Administration: Preliminary Heritage and Conservation Register

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

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

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 3080021

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