Newcastle Court House | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage

Heritage

Newcastle Court House

Item details

Name of item: Newcastle Court House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Law Enforcement
Category: Courthouse
Location: Lat: -32.9302332108 Long: 151.7822679520
Primary address: 9 Church Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Parish: Newcastle
County: Northumberland
Local govt. area: Newcastle
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Awabakal
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP1199904
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
9 Church StreetNewcastleNewcastleNewcastleNorthumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

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

Statement of significance:

The Newcastle Court House is a fine and impressive building sited prominently in Bolton Street, Newcastle. Designed in the Victorian Italianate style it remains substantially intact and a grand example of late 19th century civic architecture within the town. The building has a lengthy association with the provision of justice in the district.
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; Walter Liberty Vernon
Builder/Maker: C Coghill
Construction years: 1890-1892
Physical description: The Newcastle Court House is a grand Victorian Italianate building which provides an impressive terminating focal point to Bolton Street. The design is symmetrical comprising a large arched tower entrance to the central Court Room with a recessed portico decorated with classically derived moulded details. This building is flanked on either side with single storey wing buildings which also have impressive decorative mouldings with raised pediments and pilasters dividing the window openings.
The Newcastle Court House is constructed in rendered brick with applied cement moulded details.
Architectural style: Victorian Italianate.
Exterior: Rendered brick
Interior: Joinery
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good condition
Date condition updated:30 Oct 00
Modifications and dates: The court house of 1890-2 was extended to the east for offices and court rooms.
Two trial courts were later added to the west of the building.

There were extensive alterations and additions carried out to the 1892 and the 1949 buildings in 1982.

Repairs following the 1989 earthquake were undertaken in 1991.

A new court house is under construction at the Civic Place and it is proposed to vacate this court house by 2015 (Newcastle Herald, 11/1/2011)
Current use: courthouse
Former use: courthouse

History

Historical notes: Historical period; 1876 - 1900
The Newcastle Court House was designed by the Colonial Architect, J Barnet and construction was supervised by his successor, Walter Liberty Vernon. The Court House was constructed by the contractor C Coghill and completed in 1892 at a cost of 14, 798/12/2 pounds. This building replaced an earlier Court House built in 1841 which after several additions had outgrown its usefulness.

A new court house is under construction at the Civic Place and it is proposed to vacate this court house by 2015. New uses for the existing court house could include a boutique hotel or residential development (Newcastle Herald, 11/1/2011).

The Baird Government has confirmed the old Newcastle courthouse will go to auction conducted by Collins International in December. Proceeds from the sale will go towards the Department of Justice. However, there are guidelines for perspective buyers about the type of works allowed since part of the old building is heritage-listed (NBN Newcastle, 28/10/16, 6.05pm).

Newcastle's courthouse is set to become Nihon University's first offshore campus after the heritage building was December for $6.6m. The president of Nihon University says Newcastle was chosen to be their offshore campus due to its people and environment. The Berejiklian Government has praised the sale as a great example of its asset recycling policy (NBN Newcastle Hunter News, 24/3/2017).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Illustrates early ownership and occupancy of land within the Hunter Region-
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 Decentralising metropolitan activities to provincial cities-
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 Planning relationships between key structures and town plans-
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 Planned towns serving a specific industry-
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 Developing civic infrastructure and amenity-
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 Creating landmark structures and places in regional settings-
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 Indicators of early town planning and the disposition of people within the emerging settlement-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Dispensing justice-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Policing and enforcing the law-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - Victorian Italianate-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Walter Liberty Vernon, Government Architect, private architect-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with James Barnet, Colonial (government) Architect-

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)02 Nov 16
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)02 Nov 16
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)02 Nov 16
Statutory InstrumentNominate for State Heritage Register (SHR)02 Nov 16

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
21(1)(b)Conservation Plan submitted for endorsementNewcastle Courthouse SHR 796. Conservation Management Plan. Submission for Heritage Council Endorsement. Newcastle Courthouse SHR 796. Conservation Management Plan. Submission for Heritage Council Endorsement. Prepared by TKD Architects Sep 15 2015

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0079602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental Plan  03 Jul 92   
Register of the National Estate  21 Mar 78   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenBrian Carberry - Building Associates - Architects1997Newcastle Courthouse - Renovations
WrittenFellner, Carrie2016'Is this our next post office saga - fears for future of landmark building as sale stuck in limbo'

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045560
File number: EF14/5048; S95/338/1; S90/1087


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