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Ipswich Court House

Place Details
Place ID 600575
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name Ipswich Court House
Alternative Name Now known as Old Court House
Place Classification Built
Place Category Law/Order, Immigration, Customs, Quarantine
Place Type Courthouse - magistrates/court of petty sessions
Themes 7 Maintaining order / 7.1 Policing and maintaining law and order
6 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings / 6.1 Establishing settlements and towns
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Address 75 East Street
Town / Suburb IPSWICH
Post Code 4305

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1850s-1860s (historical) 1859-1860s (fabric 1859 section) 1930s (fabric extension 1936)
Criterion A The size and quality of the building demonstrate the importance of Ipswich as a major centre at this time.
Criterion B Completed in 1859, the Court House is a rare example of a government building constructed in Queensland prior to Separation.
Criterion D It still contains early bench and court fittings and is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of an early courthouse.
Criterion E An unusual Romanesque building of sandstone and brick, it exhibits aesthetic characteristics valued by the community and is a landmark on a major intersection. It contributes to a precinct of historic buildings on the edge of the Ipswich CBD.
Criterion G It is closely associated with the Ipswich community as the main court house for the district from 1859 to 1982, and also as a venue for early public meetings.
Criterion H It is the earliest major Queensland work of architect Charles Tiffin, at that time Clerk of Works for Moreton Bay and later the first Queensland Colonial Architect.

History The former Ipswich Court House is a sandstone and brick single-storey building, the original section of which was completed in 1859 to a design by Charles Tiffin. In the early years of Ipswich, the building was used for public meetings as well as a court house. The original building consisted of the central sandstone courtroom with a vestibule at the front, flanked by two brick wings. The building was too small for its task by 1904. In 1936, a major extension in rendered brickwork was made to the west, adding a new court room and ancillary rooms with the entry off Ginn St. With this addition, the building was able to continue its function until a new Court House was built on a different site in 1982. The State Government carried out conservation work in the 1970s and 1980s. After the building ceased being used as a courthouse, the bench was moved to the original court room and the building became a community cultural centre.

Description The former Court House Ipswich is a single-storey sandstone and brick Romanesque building. The interior of the original courtroom (Court Room 1) is divided internally into four bays. The early bench is at the western end of the courtroom. The side wings of the 1859 section are of facebrick and are each divided into three separate rooms. The 1936 section is to the west of the original sandstone section. This section is in brick with ruled joint render, and includes a large room (Court Room 2) and several smaller rooms. Court Room 2 is also divided into four main bays. The western facade is of simple Revival Classic design. The building is surrounded on three sides by a rendered brick fence with rendered brick piers and pipe and chainwire infill.

Element Name Ipswich Court House
Designer Name Tiffin, Charles
Style Romanesque
Design Period 1840s - 1860s Mid-19th century
Construction Period 1859 - 1936
Construction Method Load-bearing brick
Fabric (Exterior Structure) Stone - sandstone
Fabric (Roof) Metal sheeting - corrugated iron
Roof Form Gabled and Hipped
Place Components Court house

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Information about places in the Queensland Heritage Register is maintained by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992. Information available here is only part of the full Register entry and should not be taken as an official entry. Absence does not mean a particular place is not in the Register.

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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