Goulburn Court House and Residence | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Goulburn Court House and Residence

Item details

Name of item: Goulburn Court House and Residence
Other name/s: Courthouse
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Location: Lat: -34.7557335049 Long: 149.7190884150
Primary address: 4 Montague Street, Goulburn, NSW 2580
Local govt. area: Goulburn Mulwaree
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Pejar
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT2 DP1103076
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
4 Montague StreetGoulburnGoulburn Mulwaree  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Attorney General's DepartmentState Government28 Jan 99

Statement of significance:

The Goulburn Court house is significant as it is part of an intact Victorian civic precinct in a NSW regional centre together with Bathurst Court house, Goulburn reflects the development of the state in the late 19th century. Comparable developments include being at the end of an important rail line and the change in character of the towns from penal settlements to regional government administrative centres. The Goulburn courthouse and its setting is an expression of a cultural and developmental phase, embodying the confidence of the late Victorian era and is associated with the coming of age of the town, the lobbying for civic improvement and demonstrates an important phase in the town's evolution and development.

The design is associated with and is a climactic work of the architect Barnet and his team at the Government Architects Office. The extravagance of the grand courthouses at Goulburn and Bathurst was never to be repeated after the 1890's depression and restructure of the Government Architects Office. It is both a representative and a rare example of an important Victorian courthouse with related garden. Other courthouses either never had substantial gardens or such gardens do not retain their Victorian character.

The building is an accomplished example of Victorian Free Classical design demonstrating Palladian concepts and Mannerist influences. The architectural design shows academic excellence. The building demonstrates exceptional standards of construction in both materials and workmanship. The building contains the highest quality stone carving, bricklaying, metal and timberwork. The exceptional quality extends even to details such as ventilation and door furniture and to the fine structure which forms the dome. The Goulburn Courthouse garden enhances and is enhanced by the courthouse buildings and Belmore Park opposite. The courthouse garden is related to but, importantly, distinct from Belmore Park. Its formal character is emphasised by its separation from the street by fences and gates.

The place has been in continual use for its original purpose for the last 100 years and for the foreseeable future (Conservation Plan, Heritage Group, 1993)
Date significance updated: 12 Aug 98
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: James Barnet/Edward Rumsey
Builder/Maker: David Jones
Construction years: 1885-1887
Physical description: The Goulburn Court House and Residence is an impressive and monumental building designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet in the Victorian Free Classical style. It is symetrically planned about a central copper dome set on an octagonal base flanked on either side by wing buildings with arched colonades on the ground floor and setback arched window openings on the first floor (Schwager Brooks and Partners). The main entrance has an arched porch with pedimented roof flanked either side by long arched colonades with baulstered parapets. These colonades are terminated by pediments bearing the New South Wales Coat of Arms. Construction is of distinct rust-red colour polychrome brick with decorative sandstone facing relief work. The two court rooms are each approximately 15m x 9m wide with public galleries reached by stone stairways on either side of the curved pendentives supporting the dome. The building's walls, floors and ceilings are richly decorated using plaster and cedar joinery, all of which is in very good condition.

The main elevation is approached via a formal garden of mature, exotic trees, lawns and shrubs being enclosed by a tall iron picket fence . This fence contains a fine set of gates and stone gate piers.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The present courthouse is understood to be in excellent condition (December 91) (Register of the National Estate).
Date condition updated:20 Sep 01
Modifications and dates: 1830 -32 - First court house built at Goulburn Plains, exact site unknown.
1833 - Site for permanent gaol and court house reserved at crossing of main streets.
1834 - Second court house designed and possibly built.
1835 - Third court house designed by Mortimer Lewis.
1847-8 - Third court house built by James Sinclair
1857 - Alterations to Third court house - gallery, two porches and kitchen added
1866 - Jury room added to court house
1872 - unspecified alterations to the court house
1884-7 - Fourth court house built, architect Barnet/Rumsey, builder David Jones
1888 - Third courthouse became Crown Lands Office
1898 - Drawings prepared for court house fence
1971 - Government architect minor alterations to court house
1982-5 - Petty Sessions became Local Court
1991 - Government Architect minor alterations
1993 - Proposed linking of court house gardens to Belmore Park via chicanes.
Current use: Courthouse
Former use: Courthouse

History

Historical notes: Goulburn has had four couthouses. The first was built around 1830 and was a rough hewn timber building. A drawing for a second courthouse designed by the archtitect William Buchanan is dated 1834. It is not clear whether this building was intended for the first or second township nor whether it was built. The colonial architect Mortimer Lewis designed the third courthouse in 1835 but it was not built until 1847 after the first permanent gaol and lock up were built on the site (Conservation Plan, Heritage Group, 1993)

Nothing is known of the grounds prior to the building of the present courthouse. This, the fourth courthouse, was designed by the colonial architect James Barnet. The building of it was delayed by the completion of Goulburn's new gaol on the northern outskirts of the town. A second pernanent lock up, designed by Barnet, was also completed prior to the building of the fourth courthouse. It was linked to the Lewis courthouse after the new courthouse was completed in 1887, and the third courthouse subsequently became the Lands Office in 1888. (Conservation Plan, Heritage Group, 1993).

The builder of the courthouse was David Jones, a contractor from Bathurst (who had just completed Bathurst courthouse). The building took 30 months to complete and cost 24, 593 pounds to construct. It provided separate rooms for the Circuit Court (District Court and Quarter Sessions) and Magistrates Court (Petty Sessions), functions dating back respectively to 1847 and 1832.

The stone dwarf wall and iron picket fence was not constructed until 1900 with the Goulburn Herald reporting that tenders were invited until 16 October 1899. The planting of the grounds were also carried out at this time (Conservaton Plan, Heritage Group, 1993).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Goulburn Court House is part of an intact Victorian civic precinct in a NSW regional centre. With Bathurst Court House, Goulburn reflects the development of the state in the late 19th century of the towns from penal centres to regional government administrative centres.

The building and its setting is an expression of a cultural and developmental phase, of the confidence of the late Victorian era and is associated with the coming age of the town, with lobbying for civic improvement and demonstrates an important phase in the town's evolution and development.

The design and style symbolises the authority of the estate and the prosperity of the community.

The design and style symbolises the authority of the estate and the prosperity of the community. The design is associated with and is a climactic work of the architect barnet and his team at the Government Architects Office. The extravagance of the grant courthouses at Goulburn and Bathurst was never to be repeated after the 1890's depression and restructure of the Government Architects Office.

The place has been in continual use for its original purpose for the last 100 years and for the forseeable future. (Heritage Group 1993)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Goulburn Court House building is of an exceptionally high standard of design and construction.

The building is an accomplished example of Victorian Free Classical design demonstrating Palladian concepts and Mannerist influences. The architectural design shows academic excellence.

The place is highly developed example of the tradition of court house design with the expression of the volumes of the courts on the exterior, and the hierachy of spaces and detailing. The emphasis on public spaces given by the domes is a development of tradition at both Bathurst and Goulburn.

The building was built by David Jones and demonstrates exceptional standards of construction in both materials and workmanship. The building contains the highest quality stone carving, brick laying, metal and timberwork. The exceptional quality extends even to details such as ventilation and door furniture and to the fine structure which forms the dome.

The Goulburn Court House garden enhances and is enhanced by the Court House buildings and Belmore Park opposite. The Court House garden is related to but, importantly, distinct from Belmore Park. Its fences and gates separate it from the street emphasising its formal character.

The place is important in the Goulburn civic precinct and to the overall town plan, forming with Belmore Park and Montague Street, the Major civic space in the town and is a landmark element (dome).

The surviving plantings and hard elements which comprise the garden maintain considerable unity in design and character to form a restrained formal garden which demonstrates Victorian approaches to civic gardens and planning. The planning of the garden is comparable in its formal classical design with that of the building and the garden design is closely related to the building design. (Heritage Group 1993)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The courthouse and gardens are cared about and valued by the community, demonstrated by their current use for weddings and functions and former and continued use for community activities. The place is a symbol of unity and a setting for important events in the community. (Heritage Group 1993)
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The archaeological deposits under the floor have the potential to reveal further information about the process of building the place and previous buildings on the site. (Heritage Group 1993)
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
It is a rare example of a an important Victorian Court House with related garden. (Heritage Group 1993)
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
It is a representative example of a an important Victorian Court House with related garden. Other court houses either never had substantial gardens or such gardens do not retain their Victorian character.
(Heritage Group 1993)
Integrity/Intactness: The building has a high degree of integrity with few alterations and it is well maintains its historical and aesthetic integrity with surviving early plantings and hard elements and largely sympathetic recent changes and plantings. (Heritage Group 1993)
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.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0079302 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register 8030H   
National Trust of Australia register   05 Apr 76   
Register of the National Estate 001099   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Goulburn District Information View detail
WrittenG. Downes, D. Sheedy1976National Trust (NSW) Classification Card
WrittenHeritage Group, State Projects, NSW Public Works1993Goulburn Courthouse Conservation Plan
WrittenKirsty Altenburg1996Goulburn Court house, magistrates court subfloor space : archaeological report
Management PlanNSW Public Works1993Goulburn Court House Conservation Plan
WrittenSchwager Brooks and Partners Pty Ltd1993Department of Courts Administration 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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5001370
File number: S95/00338/1


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