Court House

Timeline Links

Grafton Court House, Victoria Street, c.1890's. - Photo by Carl Ehlers.

Extracted from : "The City of Grafton" a 1981 CRHS Publication.


The first Court House was situated on the river bank in Victoria Street and was a small wooden structure opened about 1846. It was soon found to be too small and in 1860 tenders were called for the construction of a new Court House. This was completed in 1861. The builders were Messrs French and Wray. The building was of handmade sandstock bricks with stone cornices and blocking with a shingled roof, and was sited at the corner of Duke and Victoria Streets. The first Court of Quarter Sessions in this Court House was held in October 1861 with Judge Francis presiding.

This building also became inadequate as the town developed and the present Court House was built adjacent to the old building, and pened in April 1880.

In the same year a new front was added to the ‘old’ Court House complementing the style of the ‘new’ Court House building. This building was then used as the Police Station until 1975. when the present Police Station was opened. The Clarence River Historical Society has placed a Historic Marker on the ‘old’ section of this building.

The present Court House was built to the plans of James Barnett, Colonial Architect, by Mr. J. C. Lowe, who came from Maitland. The building was constructed of sandstock brick with Pyrmont Sandstone flagging and cornices, which were transported from Sydney in lightloads by small schooners. The roof was of Welsh slate and when the building was re-roofed a few years ago slate from the same quarry in Wales was used. Carved cedar woodwork and panelling was used extensively in the interior, and today is considered one of the finest examples in this type of work in N.S.W.

In January, 1881 a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the centenary of this Court House. This building has National Trust Classification.


© Clarence River Historical Society Inc. PO Box 396, Grafton, NSW 2460

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