Narrandera Courthouse | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Narrandera Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Narrandera Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Cadell Street and Larmer Street, Narrandera, NSW 2700
Local govt. area: Narrandera
Hectares (approx): 0.01461
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cadell Street and Larmer StreetNarranderaNarrandera  Primary Address


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

Statement of significance:

Narrandera Courthouse is a good example of Federation Free style architecture. The building is a good example of courthouses designed by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon. Narrandera Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1879, when the original portion of the building was constructed to a design by James Barnet. The courthouse is part of a group of significant civic buildings in Narrandera.
Date significance updated: 14 Jun 02
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 Barnet, WL Vernon (major additions)
Construction years: 1877-1879
Physical description: Narrandera Courthouse is an attractive Federation civic building with Federation Queen Anne stylistic detailing. The building has a double height central courtroom which is flanked by single storey wings. A front verandah with decorative half height timber posts unites the building complex. Other typical Federation features include arched window openings, with arched clerestorey windows lighting the courtroom.
Other accommodation: Gerneral office, CLC office, Magistrate room, Crown porsecutors room, sheriffs office, jury room, legal room, witness room, records room, staff amenities.
Construction: Narrandera Courthouse is constructed in face brick with hipped roofs clad in terra cotta tiles. The verandahs are supported on decorative timber posts. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
Exterior materials: Brick, tiles, timber.
Interior materials: Timber joinery, face brick,
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good. (March 2007)
Date condition updated:17 May 10
Modifications and dates: Substantial alterations and additions to the orginal buiding in 1906, including new façade, roofs, courtroom and windows.
Further information: Further research and assessment required to determine remaining evidence of original courthouse.
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse


Historical notes: Narrandera Courthouse was designed by James Barnet in 1877 and substantially altered by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon in 1906.

A Court of Petty Sessions was proclaimed in Narrandera in 1862. Following the preparation of plans for the courthouse in 1877 by Colonial Architect James Barnet, the building was completed in 1879. In 1880 plans were prepared for additions to the courthouse. This was to be two rooms either side of the main courtroom to house the Magistrate and the Lands Office. A new smaller room was partitioned adjacent to the Magistrate’s chamber to house the Clerk of Petty Sessions.

Further substantial alterations were undertaken to the building in 1906, including construction of a new facade. These alterations were designed by Government 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 -
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]
Narrandera Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1879. The courthouse is representative of the growing confidence in regional centres during the nineteenth century and the widespread perception that the local courthouse was the symbol of local respectability and a focus of civic pride
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Narrandera Courthouse is associated with James Barnet, Colonial Architect of New South Wales from 1862-1890, who designed the original building, and Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of New South Wales from 1890-1911, who designed major additions and alterations.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Narrandera Courthouse is a good example of Federation Free style architecture. The building is constructed of brick with sandstone trims and features arched window openings and arched clerestorey windows lighting the courtroom.

The courthouse is part of a group of significant civic buildings in Narrandera.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Narrandera Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town.
SHR Criteria g)
Narrandera Courthouse is a good/outstanding example of courthouses designed by Walter Liberty Vernon. Little evidence of the original, simple country courthouse designed by Barnet remains.
Integrity/Intactness: Higly intact with a high level of integrity as the 1906 courthouse. Little evidence of the original building remains.
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
WrittenNSW Department of Commerce2007Condition Assessments GAP Analysis Court House Report: Narrandera
WrittenNSW Department of Commerce Architectural plans PC 381/32
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: 3080099

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