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Cootamundra Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Cootamundra Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Parker Street, Cootamundra, NSW 2590
Local govt. area: Cootamundra
Hectares (approx): 0.03135
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Parker StreetCootamundraCootamundra  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Department of Justice and Attorney GeneralState Government 

Statement of significance:

Cootamundra Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1901 and was the second courthouse constructed in Cootamundra. The courthouse is a fine example of Federation Free style architecture that demonstrates the dignified, civic style of architecture adopted by the Public Works Department under Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon.
Date significance updated: 16 Sep 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: J McGreggor, WL Vernon
Builder/Maker: Sandbrook Brothers
Construction years: 1899-1901
Physical description: The Cootamundra Courthouse is an impressive Federation Free Style building. The building uses the typical court floor plan with a central double-height court room flanked on either side by wings. The main elelvation has a classical portico entrance to the courtroom which features a heavy entablature supported on grouped Doric columns. Typical features include strapped chimneys, slate roofs with exposed rafter ends, multi-pannelled windows and stone trims. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
The courtroom features an ornate coffered ceiling, a timber public gallery, exposed brick walls and unusual brick fireplaces.
Other accommodation: General office, CLC office, 2 jury rooms, Crowns' room, Judge & Magistrate's chamber, legal rooms, witness rooms, amenities, Sheriff's office.
Construction: The Cootamundra Courthouse is constructed in face brick with the use of rendered brick and sandstone trim. The roofs are clad in slate. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
Interior materials: timber joinery, brick fireplaces.
Exterior materials: brick, render, slate.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Fair. (March 2007)
Date condition updated:06 Aug 10
Modifications and dates: Additions to the rear in matching brick with a corrugated-iron roof. (date unknown)
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse


Historical notes: Cootamundra Courthouse was completed in 1901 to a design by J McGreggor under Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon.

The first courthouse in Cootamundra was constructed in 1879 on Cooper Street following community agitation and petitioning by the Vigilance Committee. However, this facility was small and in 1885 a new courthouse was promised to the town.

The present courthouse was constructed following an extended period of community agitation. In 1892 the local council resolved to lobby the Minister for Justice for the provision of a new courthouse.
The tender for the construction of the courthouse was awarded to the Sandbrook Brothers of Camperdown for £4,545 in 1899. The work was completed under the supervision of J McGreggor of the Government Architect's Office. The courthouse was officially opened in November 1901 by Judge Rodgers.

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 Civic centre-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Administration of justice-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Cootamundra Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1901 amd was the second courthouse constructed in Cootamundra. The modest scale and design of Cootamundra Courthouse demonstrates the changing approach to the provision of public buildings in New South Wales during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the extravagance of the nineteenth century public works program was rejected for a more restrained style.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Cootamundra Courthouse is associated Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of New South Wales from 1890-1911 and J McGreggor, an architect in the Government Architect's Office.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Cootamundra Courthouse is a fine example of Federation Free style architecture that demonstrates the dignified, civic style of architecture adopted by the Public Works Department under Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon. The building features an ornate, highly intact courtroom.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Cootamundra Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town.
SHR Criteria g)
Cootamundra Courthouse is a good example of courthouses constructed during the tenure of Walter Liberty Vernon. The building displays the principal characteristics of the standard courthouse plan, with a double-height central court room and single-storey wings on either side.
Integrity/Intactness: Highly intact (particularly the court room) with 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
WrittenLorraine Marion1997Cootamundra Court House (brochure)
WrittenNSW Department of Commerce2007Condition Assessments GAP Analysis Court House Report: Cootamundra
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.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 3080047

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