Wyalong Courthouse | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Wyalong Courthouse

Item details

Name of item: Wyalong Courthouse
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Primary address: Neeld Street and Slee Street, Wyalong, NSW 2671
Local govt. area: Bland
Hectares (approx): 0.03035
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Neeld Street and Slee StreetWyalongBland  Primary Address


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

Statement of significance:

Wyalong Courthouse is a distinctive public building designed in the Federation Free style. The courthouse has been associated with the provision of justice in the town for over 100 years, with little change to its form since its construction. Wyalong Courthouse is a good example of public buildings designed by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon and displays particular technical ingenuity in adapting prevailing architectural styles to the needs of the local climate. The courthouse is an important element of Wyalong's civic precinct.
Date significance updated: 25 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: WL Vernon
Builder/Maker: Albert Brown
Construction years: 1900-1900
Physical description: Wyalong Courthouse is a large country courthouse designed in the Federation Free Style. The building consists of a double-height courtroom which is flanked by a single-storey wing with an enclosing verandah. The courtroom has a gable hipped roof surmounted by an octagonal vent with a cupola and spire. The building is finished with rough cast render at the clerestorey level with semi-circular arched windows at the ceiling level and ground level. Most of the original cedar furniture remains intact. (Schwager Brooks 1993)
The site retains a range of ancillary buildings dating from 1900, including toilets for the jury.
Other accommodation: Sheriff's office, Judge's chambers, jury room.
Construction: Wyalong Courthouse is constructed in face brick with rough cast render applied to the upper external walls.
Interior materials: Cedar joinery, pressed metal.
Exterior materials: Brick, render, corrugated iron.
Date condition updated:19 Oct 10
Current use: Bland District Historical Society Museum
Former use: Courthouse


Historical notes: A Court of Petty Sessions was established at Wyalong in 1894. Wyalong Courthouse was designed by Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon and built in 1900.

The building replaced an earlier weatherboard courthouse built on the same site in 1894. The new courthouse was constructed along the western wall of the weatherboard building, which was demolished once the new building was complete. The builder was Albert Brown and the cost of construction was £2500. The substantial form of the courthouse announced to all who passed by that Wyalong was a prosperous town. At Wyalong, Vernon was noted for his clever solution for ventilation.

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-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Wyalong Courthouse has been associated with the provision of law and justice in Wyalong for more than 110 years, with little change to its form since its construction. The restrained scale, materials and detailing of Wyalong Courthouse demonstrate the dignified, civic style of public buildings adopted during the early twentieth century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Wyalong Courthouse is associated with Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect of New South Wales from 1890-1911, who was responsible for the design of all courthouses built in NSW during this time.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Wyalong Courthouse is an excellent example of Federation Free style architecture, with distinctive cupola ventilator, contrasting materials and arched windows. The form of Wyalong Courthouse demonstrates significant technical features associated with adapting the prevailing architectural style to the local climate, with its deep verandahs and ventilation system (including ceiling ventilation, under-eaves ventilators and octagonal cupola roof vent) designed to suit the hot, dry climate of the region. Wyalong Courthouse is a landmark building in the town and an important element of the town’s civic precinct.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Wyalong Courthouse is likely to have significance for the local community as a long-standing civic institution of the town.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
As a largely intact early-twentieth-century public building, Wyalong Courthouse has potential to yield further information about the design and construction of this type of building in New South Wales.
SHR Criteria g)
Wyalong Courthouse is a good example of public buildings designed by Walter Liberty Vernon.
Integrity/Intactness: Highly intact externally and moderatley intact internally with a high level of integrity. The court room still retains its original furniture and pressed metal ceiling.
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
WrittenDavid Scobie Architects Pty Ltd with Architectural History Services Pty Ltd2001Wyalong Courthouse Conservation Management Plan
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: 3080135

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