Heidelberg Historical Society

Plan of Heidelberg Museum

How the building was used as a courthouse from 1900 until the 1960s.

Visitors to the courthouse museum will see quite a different interior compared with the way it was configured as a court. As we have no photographs of the old court's interior, the diagram is based on close observation of walls, doors and other fittings that still exist.

Court House Plan

Court Plan

Court House

Notes about the Plan

  • These directions assume that we are looking at the interior, facing towards the Magistrate's Bench, having entered from the top of the plan. This is the main entrance at the corner of Jika Street and Park Lane. The Public would have come into court this way. (Porch - Public)

  • There were galleries on the right and left leading to rooms for witnesses and to the the Barristers' Room. These rooms could also be reached by doors opening directly to the outside. The windows of these galleries were originally made from leadlight glass. With the exception of small examples near the door, the leadlighting has been removed, probably in the 1950s.

  • To the left, behind the Barristers' Room was the Prisoners' Room, also with direct access to the outside. The Prisoners' Room gave access to the Court Room via the Dock.

  • In front of all this was the Bench, behind which the Magistrate was seated at a higher level, gazing down at the Court.

  • Behind the Bench was a collection of other rooms. These included a Magistrates' Room and a Clerk of Courts' Room. This last room was directly accessable by the public from the street.

  • The rather strange and complex shape of the building reflects its various uses. All of the various rooms are still evident in the current building, although many changes of appearance have been made.

  • As the plan shows, there were as many as nine external doors to the building. These gave direct access for Barristers, Prisoners, Witnesses, the Magistrate and to the Public who came to the rooms at the back for business with the Clerk of Courts.

Heidelberg Historical Society
Museum & Research Centre

Heidelberg Museum

While the distict red brick walls and red roof of the court house museum are a landmark in Heidelberg, the original roof was grey slate, with two dramatic funiels on top. This roof appears to have been removed in the 1960s, apparently due to the cost of maintaining a slate roof.

Despite the loss of some of its original character, the Heidelberg Courthouse Museum and Research Centre remains an important cultural centre and investigating its former role and character is part of its fascination.

Normal opening hours are 2PM-5PM on Sundays, COVID permitting.

During the year, arrangements can generally be made for visits at other times. A small charge is made for entry to the museum, except for Members, who can enter free of charge.

In addition to physical records and objects, museum volunteers have entered large quantities records on computer databases, which are also available to visitors and to members.