Gulgong Courthouse | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage


Gulgong Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Gulgong Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Herbert Street, Gulgong, NSW 2852
Local govt. area: Mid-Western Regional
Hectares (approx): 0.01448
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Herbert StreetGulgongMid-Western Regional  Primary Address


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

Statement of significance:

Gulgong Courthouse is a residential-scaled Federation Queen Anne building that forms part of a historic group of civic buildings in the town. The building has been associated with the provision of justice in the town since 1900. Gulgong Courthouse is a representative example of the more modest style of public buildings built in NSW after the economic depression of the 1890s.
Date significance updated: 12 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
Builder/Maker: RT Hill
Construction years: 1898-1900
Physical description: Gulgong Courthouse is a residential-scaled Federation Queen Anne styled building which appears to be in a well maintained and intact condition. The front elevation of the single-storey building has a gable roofed section alongside a recessed verandah. Typical Queen Anne detailing includes turned timber verandah posts and bracketing with timber shingles to the gable end wall. The roof of the building comprises two abutting hipped sections. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
Other accommodation: Tea room, Magistrate Chambers, interview room, tea room/storage, CPS room, public waiting.
Construction: Gulgong Courthouse is constructed in face brick with decorative timber verandah posts and gable end walls shingles. The hipped roofs are clad in corrugated iron sheeting.
Interior materials: joinery. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
Exteriror materials: brick, corrugated iron, timber.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good. (April 2007)
Date condition updated:24 Aug 10
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse


Historical notes: A Court of Petty Sessions was established in Gulgong in 1871. One of the central-western NSW gold rush towns, Gulgong became a municipality in 1876. Six tenders were received for the construction of Gulgong Courthouse in 1898 and the contract was awarded to RT Hill for £1507. The building had been designed by Walter Liberty Vernon. The courthouse was in use by 1900.

The courthouse was also used for council meetings.

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 -
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. Local government-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Administration of justice-
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]
Gulgong Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1900. The modest scale and design of Gulgong 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]
Gulgong Courthouse is associated with Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of New South Wales from 1890-1911.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Gulgong Courthouse is a small country courthouse with some fine features, including turned timber verandah posts and bracketing with timber shingles to the gable end wall. The courthouse is a modest example of the Federation Queen Anne style.

The courthouse forms part of a historic group of civic buildings in Gulgong.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town.
SHR Criteria g)
Gulgong Courthouse is a representative example of the more modest style of public buildings built in NSW after the economic depression of the 1890s.
Integrity/Intactness: Highly intact externaly and moderately intact internally. Maintains 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
Written 1906The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 16 June 1906
Written 1900The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Monday 19 November 1900
Written 1898The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Tuesday 12 July 1898
WrittenNSW Department of Commerce2007Condition Assessments GAP Analysis Court House Report: Gulgong
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: 3080065

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