Police Court

Police Court

When an announcement was made in 1865 that a new General Post Office was planned, a new site for the Local and Police Court was sought, but at first without success. Meanwhile Town Acre 408 on the south side of Victoria Square was secured for the proposed Local and Insolvency Courts. It was then decided to build both the Police Courts and the Local and insolvency Courts on this block. A new set of drawings and modifications were made to the existing plans.

Construction by Crocker and Lawson of the bluestone Police Court began in 1866, before the Local and Insolvency Courts.

On October 15, 1867, the Police Court moved to the new building. The new Police Court and offices on King William Street were opposite the Supreme Court (now the Magistrates Court) and adjoining the new Local and Insolvency Courts (now the Supreme Court). The front was Roman Doric in style. The Police Court was in the centre, with “a somewhat elegant interior”. Wings housing offices for the commissioner and a residence for the inspector of Metropolitan Police were added within the year.

The front was to be of stucco, but the colonial architect, William Hansom, must have changed his mind about this finishing detail, or it may be that as he resigned in February 1867 there was a change of plan by the incoming architect.

These buildings were used as the Police Courts until 1891 when they changed places with the Local and Insolvency Courts, which were by then in the original Supreme Court building across King William Street.


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This building in the heart of South Australia’s judiciary is one of four courthouses that make a significant contribution to the character of Victoria Square and its environs.

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See also

Images of Police Court

  • Police Court, 1969
William Hanson
Crocker and Lawson
Building materials
Brick, Render, Stucco, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.9 Italianate
1866 -  

Additional Works

Judges Chambers built by Mannion

Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
William Hanson, Doric, quoins
Engineering features
Victoria Square- Tarndanyangga
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
South Australia Police Force
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Civic, Court, Police
AS2482 classification
14560 - Law Courts
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CR 5760/599 T105101 T408
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA classified
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
5.2 State Government
5.2.2 Law and Police
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Smith Survey 1880; Department of Housing and Construction Plan Room, HD 1642-
  • 49; MLSA, Bierbaum files, Hague, R.M. A history of law in South Australia, No. 1051, Historical photographs (Town Acre 408), RN 39; Observer, 19 October 1867; PRO, GRG 38 records; South Australian Register, 15 January 1867, 6 January 1868.

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