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Some Historical Background on the Courthouse

Some selected newspaper articles about the history of Heidelberg Museum. Many of these have been published in our newsletter, the Heidelberg Historian. Our large collection of historic and recent newspapers also provides a useful source for such information.

Heidelberg Courthouse Opens in 1900

'The News', 6th April 1900.
New Courthouse at Heidelberg. Open for Business.
The new courthouse erected at Heidelberg by the Public Works Department for the Crown Law Department has been completed. It cost £1800, and occupied a triangular site adjoining the police station. It is constructed of brick with cement dressing, and is roofed with slates. The external architecture is of the simplest character, but the main lines of the building produce a very pleasing effect. The shape of the court-room itself is an elongated octagon; it is lighted from a range of clearstory windows all round, and the ceiling is of wood. The building is approached from a porch leading to a vestibule on either hand. and on a level with the court provision is made for female witnesses, barristers, and prisoners. On a level with the raised bench are the clerk of courts' office and the magistrates' retiring room. The whole is very conveniently arranged and the acoustic properties of the court itself have proved to be exceptionally good. Though the building itself has been completed, some work is still required to the approaches, fencing and footpaths; these it is proposed to modify in such a manner as to provide a suitable access to the building and at the same time improve its appearance. The architect was Mr J. B. Cohen, and the contractors were Swanson Bros., whilst Mr Edwin Hooks acted as inspector of works.

First Session in Heidelberg Courthouse

'The News', 6th April 1900
(Immediately following the article above was this account of the first court session in the new building.)
The first court was held in the new building on Monday last, the presiding magistrates being Mr. Keogh, P.M., and Messrs. Holland, Davey, Selby, Draper, Adams and Finney, J's.P.
Cr Holland (president of the shire) and Mr Keogh, P.M., congratulated the people of Heidelberg on having secured such an admirable building. Mr Day, on behalf of the bar, also made some remarks appropriate to the occasion. Mr Percy Ridgeway was the first legal practitioner to appear professionally before their worships in the new building.
On the business of the court being concluded, a number of gentlemen assembled, by invitation. in the magistrates' room.
Cr. Davey, as the senior magistrate, expressed pleasure at being in the new building, which was second to none in the colony.
Cr. Holland proposed a toast of the architects, and Mr Cohen (of the Public Works Department) in responding said when the outside work, asphalting, etc., was done the building would be one to be proud of.
Cr. Holland proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Gair, M.L.A., who was unavoidably absent, for his successful efforts in getting the Government to put up the buildings.
This was seconded by Cr. Lugton, and supported by Cr. Ryan, who said 10 feet of asphalting should be constructed all round the building, and good stabling for magistrates' horses should be provided.
The vote was carried with musical honors.
Mr D. E. Brayshay proposed "The Magistrates," and Messrs Keogh, Holland, Davey, Adams, and Finney replied.
Mr Keogh, P.M., proposed "The Legal Profession," and responses were made by Messrs Brayshay, Day, and Ridgeway.
The toasts of "The Clerk of the Court." and "The Police" were also honored, and the gathering dispersed.

The First Heidelberg Courthouse

The first Heidelberg Courthouse was built on the same site in 1853. Click here for more information.