Moree Courthouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Moree Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Moree Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Frome Street, Moree, NSW 2400
Local govt. area: Moree Plains
Hectares (approx): 0.05
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Frome StreetMoreeMoree Plains  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Attorney General's DepartmentState Government 

Statement of significance:

Moree Courthouse is a good example of Federation Free style architecture and an outstanding example of large country courthouses designed by Walter Liberty Vernon. The building is set in landscaped grounds. Moree Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town and broader region since 1884. The extant building was the third courthouse built in the town, which has been an important centre for administration and justice in the region since 1862.
Date significance updated: 19 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.

Description

Designer/Maker: J Barnet, WL Vernon (major additions)
Builder/Maker: C Grant
Construction years: 1900-1903
Physical description: Moree Courthouse is a symmetrical Federation Free style public building which has a varied hipped roofline with ventilators. The roof line is dominated by the courtroom roof which is surmounted by a belfry-like roof ventilator. The entrance is marked with a flat roofed portico with a colonnaded verandah on either side. The interiors appear intact and feature polished timber joinery, pressed metal ceilings and coloured glazing to the gallery. There is a fine brick and stone front boundary fence and landscaped setting with established trees.
Other accommodation: General office, Sheriffs office, CLC chamber/Magistrates office, Crown prosecutor's office, store, Judges chamber, records room.
Construction: Moree Courthouse is constructed in face brick with sandstone trim and stills, string courses and column capital mouldings. The hipped roofs are clad in slate.
Interior materials: joinery, pressed metal.
Exteriror materials: brick, slate, sandstone.
(Schwager Brooks 1993)
Date condition updated:19 Oct 10
Modifications and dates: Additions to the rear including a new local court, Magistrate's chamber, interview rooms and staff offices. (2001-03)
An upgrade program of pre-equipped AVL courtrooms was carried out to expand the use of Multi Court Room Monitoring to additional court locations. This technology is used to deliver video and audio for Recording and Transcription Services. The upgrade improved operational, organisational and financial efficiencies through increased resource flexibility, reduction in travel costs to regional and remote locations, and improved service delivery (2018).
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse

History

Historical notes: The extant Moree Courthouse was built between 1900 and 1903 to a design by Walter Liberty Vernon.

A Court of Petty Sessions was established in Moree in 1862 and hearings took place in the local inn, the Caber Fae Hotel. Prior to this the area was administered from Warialda. Upon the establishment of the Court of Petty Sessions, the Magistrate from Warialda travelled to Moree once every other month to hear the court sessions. Requests were made for a courthouse in Moree by Frank Rudsen, the local MP and Police Magistrate for Warialda, as early as 1864, but a courthouse was not constructed until 1874.

A District Court and Court of Quarter Sessions were established in the town in 1884. A second courthouse was constructed, designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet in 1884. By the late 1890s, this courthouse was already too small for the needs of the town. Extensive additions, designed by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon, were commissioned for the 1884 courthouse. It is not known to what extent the earlier courthouse was retained. The entire extant courthouse may date from the Vernon phase of construction. The contract for the construction of the building was awarded to Mr Grant in 1900 for £4875. This contract specified that four rooms at the rear of the Barnet courthouse were to be retained.

Extensive alterations were made to the building in 2001.

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 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]
Moree Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town and broader region since 1884. The extant building was the third courthouse built in the town, which has been an important centre for administration and justice in the region since 1862.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Moree Courthouse is associated with two Colonial/Government Architects: James Barnet, Colonial Architect of New South Wales from 1862-1890, who designed the original courthouse, and Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of New South Wales from 1890-1911, who designed the extant building.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Moree Courthouse is a good example of Federation Free style architecture and is set in fine landscaped grounds. The courthouse has a number of fine details, including an entrance marked by a flat roofed portico with a colonnaded verandah on either side and a belfry-like ventilator above the main courtroom.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Moree Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town and broader region.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The site of Moree Courthouse has some archaeological potential relating to earlier courthouses built on the same site, which may provide information on the history of the administration of justice in Moree, which is otherwise undocumented. (DPWS 2001)
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Moree Courthouse is an outstanding example of large country courthouses designed by Walter Liberty Vernon and has a number of features typical of his designs, including use of a mix of roof forms the rear and and low, arched windows.
Integrity/Intactness: Moderately intact with a high level of integrity. Modern additions are sympathetically designed and located at the rear of the building.
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
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDPWS Heritage Design Services2001Moree Court House Archaeological Assessment
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: 3080089


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