Parkes Courthouse | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Parkes Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Parkes Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Currajong Street and Court Street, Parkes, NSW 2870
Local govt. area: Parkes
Hectares (approx): 0.013
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Currajong Street and Court StreetParkesParkes  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Attorney General's DepartmentState Government 

Statement of significance:

Parkes Courthouse is an impressive Federation Free Classical public building constructed in brick with dressed stone trims. The courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1875 and is significant for its ability to demonstrate the development of Parkes, with the building extended and adapted to accommodate increased use by the late nineteenth century. Parkes 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 stepped massing of elements at the rear and sides of the building and use of a mix of roof forms.
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 Banrnet, WL Vernon (additions)
Construction years: 1875-1875
Physical description: Parkes Courthouse is an impressvie and robust masonry Federation Free Classical building built in rough dressed stone blocks with contrasting dressed stone trim. The building is composed of several hipped roofs at varying height. An arched colonnaded entrance to the central courtroom is flanked by the single storey wing buildings which feature arched window openings. The interior features timber joinery and furniture. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
Other accommodation: General office, Sheriffs office, CLC office, cleaners room, amenities, jury room, Judges chamber.
Construction: Parkes Courthouse is constructed in rough dressed stone with a contrasting smooth stone trim. The hipped roofs are clad in corrugated iron sheeting.
Interior materials: Timber joinery
Exterior materials: Brick, stone, corrugated iron
Date condition updated:19 Oct 10
Modifications and dates: Major additions designed by Vernon. (c1896)
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).
Further information: Further research required to determine if any evidence of original 1875 courthouse remains within current structure.
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse

History

Historical notes: Until 1873, Parkes was known as Currajong and Bushman’s Lead. The name was changed in honour of Sir Henry Parkes, who visited the site in that year.

A Court of Petty Sessions was established in Parkes in 1864, when the town was known as Currajong. This court was abolished in 1865 and re-established in 1872. Parkes Courthouse was designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet in 1875. Substantial changes were designed for the courthouse in 1896 by the Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon. These works involved the addition of a new wing on either side of the main entranceway, a new façade and new roofs.

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-
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]
Parkes Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1875. The courthouse is significant for its ability to demonstrate the development of Parkes, with the building extended and adapted to accommodate increased use by the late nineteenth century. The building was altered significantly c1896, but retains elements of the original 1875 building.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Parkes Courthouse is associated with 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 major additions and alterations that now dominate the appearance of the building.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Parkes Courthouse is a fine example of Federation Free style architecture. The building has a number of fine features associated with the style, including a façade constructed of brick with contrasting dressed stone trims, broad, arched windows and broad, hipped roofs.

The courthouse in Parkes is a landmark building in the town and an important element of the town's civic precinct, which includes the local post office and police station.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Parkes Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Parkes 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 stepped massing of elements at the rear and sides of the building and use of a mix of roof forms.
Integrity/Intactness: Highly intact internally and externally 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.

Listings

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

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Graphic 1896Architectural plans PC 406/06
WrittenParkes Shire Council Parkes Early History
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: 3080106


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