Archives Outside

For people who love, use and manage archives

Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

Can you date and locate these court houses?

We thought we would try something different and post a selection of images of unidentified Court Houses.  The images are from NRS4481 Government Printing Office Glass Negatives. We suspect they are most likely country Court Houses so we are calling on all our regional friends and colleagues to help us indentify and date the images.

1. Unidentified Court House 12. Unidentified Court House 2

3. Unidentified Court House 34. Unidentified Court House 4

5. Unidentified Court House 5

Click the above images to view larger versions in Flickr

We have many other undated photographs in Photo Investigator and on our Flickr account. If you know the dates or any other interesting facts about these images please let us know.

  • Melissa says:

    Judging by the trees and fence, it looks like pictures 3 and 4 are of the same building (just from different angles).

    April 12, 2010 at 9:56 am
  • Robert Mills says:

    Further to Melissa’s comment images 3 and 4 have tram tracks present so the photos are in either Sydney, Maitland, Broken Hill or Newcastle.

    More likely a regional city or town rather than Sydney. It looks like single track not double. As no span wires are present the tramway infrastructure is steam based.

    The presence of the steam age track means that:

    If Newcastle earliest possible date is 1887
    If Broken Hill earliest possible date is 1902
    If Maitland earliest possible date is 1909.

    April 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm
  • Diane Solomon Westerhuis says:

    Courthouse no 1 picture

    I am sure that is Bathurst Courthouse- I will see if I can find another similar picture with a date

    April 13, 2010 at 9:58 am
  • Melissa says:

    I wonder if the pictures are of other buildings besides court houses (for example, post offices, police stations etc).

    One way or the other, as it appears that they are public buildings, it might be worthwhile examining the designs of the NSW colonial/government architects. The colonial/government architects during the late 19th and early 20th century were James Barnet (from 1862-1890) and Walter Vernon (1890-1911).

    In addition, through zooming in a bit on picture 4, one can see a notice that appears to say “…dith Free Press”.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm
  • Persica says:

    Again I have consulted colleagues …

    “Photo 2 is the former Dubbo Court House. There is a similar photo on page 58 of “Historic Court Houses of NSW” by Peter Bridges.”

    “Photos 3 and 4 … is Parramatta, still under construction. You can see the crane in the front of the building. The tower (still in place at the present court house) is still to be built. You can see the sign behind “MURRAY” which refers to a former department store in Parramatta Murray Bros. Also in front the rail line which used to carry a steam tram from a seed mill further down George St (towards Parramatta Park) to a wharf on the Parramatta River.” My informant has other photos of “the court house, when completed, with the same conifer out the front.”

    April 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm
  • pellethepoet says:

    Image 5 is strikingly similar in design to the Hartley Court House designed by Mortimer Lewis (Colonial Architect 1835-1849). The brick structures look like much later add ons.

    April 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm
  • Melissa says:

    Further to the information provided by Persica, I assume that the wood structure in picture 4 (just to the left of the building) is where the tower ended up being built. Would this be correct?

    In regards to Diane’s comment (re: Bathurst courthouse being picture 1), I actually think that picture 5 is of the old Bathurst Court House built in the 1830s-1840s.

    To me, picture 1 now looks more like Griffith Court House. The columns and triangular feature of the building in the photo bears similarities to the current court house (along with the main entrance door frame).

    April 16, 2010 at 11:00 pm
  • Rhonda Campbell says:

    We really have a debate going regarding the unidentified court houses so we decided to let the discussion continue. There still appears to be some question marks!

    Images 3 and 4 do appear to be the same court house and there are some good identifying features which point to the images being of the old Parramatta Court House.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:59 am
  • pellethepoet says:

    I’m quite confident that I have identified Image 1 –

    Morpeth Court House, now the Morpeth Museum and Library, 125 Swan Street, Morpeth

    Any takers?

    May 22, 2010 at 7:31 pm
  • Gail says:

    I am thinking Image 1 is Maitland Court House. I often visit the Maitland Library, which is opposite the Court house and the building in the photo is very similar to the Maitland Court House.

    June 5, 2010 at 7:18 am
  • enno says:

    Picture 1 is unlikely to be Griffith. The street is sloping too much to be Griffith. And Griffith was established as a town too late to be building a courthouse in that style IMHO.

    In 3 and 4, I think they are erecting a telegraph pole. The erecting structure seems to be in the wrong place for erecting the building, which appears to be complete anyhow. I’m not convinced about Parramatta, the streets look too wide and deserted and not enough other buildings to be seen.

    June 14, 2010 at 7:50 pm
  • enno says:

    One of the buildings at Dubbo Court house caught fire on about October 13 1991. I know that because my ggggrandfather was on trial for sheepstealing. Maybe he lit the fire to distract the judge.

    On the other hand, his trial followed that of three ringleaders of a riot connected with a shearers strike. So maybe they done it.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:13 am