Police Station (East Maitland) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Police Station (East Maitland)

Item details

Name of item: Police Station (East Maitland)
Other name/s: East Maitland Police Lock-up (1870-c1914); Police Residence (c1914-1998?)
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Police station
Location: Lat: -32.7444103491 Long: 151.5885823170
Primary address: 20 John Street, East Maitland, NSW 2323
Parish: Maitland
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Maitland
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Mindaribba
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT466 DP1002766
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
20 John StreetEast MaitlandMaitlandMaitlandNorthumberlandPrimary Address
Cumberland StreetEast MaitlandMaitlandMaitlandNorthumberlandAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
NSW Police ServiceState Government27 Jan 99

Statement of significance:

The former East Maitland Police Lock-up is of considerable significance because it is well built, of local materials and adds to the coherent historic character of the Gaol/Courthouse group, it demonstratres the changes that have occurred in the police service over 120 years, and it demonstrates a standard Police Lock-up design, extensively used in the Hunter Valley, in the context of a police and gaol precinct. (Heritage Group, Conservation Plan, January 1998: 91)
Date significance updated: 22 Jul 99
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.


Construction years: 1870-1871
Physical description: The Warden's Cottage [Police Residence?] is constructed in rendered brick.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Has not been assessed. Medium archaeological potential concievable.
Date condition updated:24 Nov 00
Modifications and dates: 1914 - Converted to a residence with new cell block and yard behind.
Further information: This building could be used in association with the future use of the gaol. It is prominently sited on the major contemporary approach to the gaol. Alternatively, it could successfully be used as a residence.
The significance and presence of the building could be enhanced by active conservation measures including attention to removal of unsympathetic or poorly executed additions and replacement of modern finishes.


Historical notes: "[The] lock-up/residence on the corner of Melbourne[sic] and John Streets was built to serve the locality. Tenders were called for a police lock-up (police station in modern parlance) on the gaol reserve in the 'Government Gazette' of 2 December 1870 and the building was completed in the following year. Notes to the plan illustrated below indicate that the walls were of brick, the foundations constructed of local stone (basecourse and hearths), the carpentry of blue gum and tallowwood and the joinery of cedar.
As constructed, the cells and charge room faced John Street and the brick walls of this section are more substantial than would have been necessary for a residence. In 1914, it is believed, the lock-up was re-constructed in response to growing population and changing community attitudes. The resulting changes are shown on an undated plan. The former cells and charge room now became three bedrooms and a sitting room and a verandah were added at the front. Other changes completed the transformation into a police residence and new cells and prisoners' yard wre constructed behind the lock-up.
According to notes in the Police and Justice Museum, this building was re-classified as a superintendent's residence circa 1968.
Separated by an expanse of the reserve for most of its history, the residence lost its isolation in 1972 when two houses for gaol officers were constructed between it and the prison."
(DPWS Heritage Group, 'Maitland Correctional Centre and Police Properties Conservation Plan', 1998, p.42)

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. (none)-
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 g)
The lock-up/residence, when compared with the more recent prison officers' residences, is indicative of the changing conditions of police service since 1871. Existing close by the 1972 (former) police station it allows comparison between east Maitland police stations a century apart. This type of building is relatively common in the Hunter Region. It is not known how many function today as police stations or related uses, however, it is thought that most have been converted to residences. While not rare, this building is representative of its type and significant as part of the law and order precinct.
Integrity/Intactness: The residence retains many of its significant features including its basic form, joinery and two chimneys. The cells and yard remain, however the yard is roofed over to provide a garage. The setting of this small complex is somewhat compromised by the loss of the original perimeter wall which has been replaced by a combination of unsympathetic fence types in timber, aluminium and wire. The front garden and grounds give few clues to the original walled setting and plants conceal the residence from view. The concrete tile roof (probably originally slate) and colour scheme internally and externally detract from its significance and ability to appreciate the place.
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
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.

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


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0101602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental Plan  03 Sep 93   
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045038
File number: H00/00359; H99/00450 [S170]

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