Hartley Courthouse was designed by colonial architect Mortimer Lewis in the Grecian Revival style. Still largely intact and constructed solidly of locally quarried sandstone, it is an imposing building, as it was designed to be.
The three doorways provided entrances for prisoners, the public and magistrates and visitors can examine the cellblock that housed prisoners and convicts. Many notorious bushrangers and cattle thieves were kept here and inside the cells, with their bars and bolts still in position, you can imagine the thoughts of men used to roaming the country locked up tight in this remote prison.
As the convict system faded into history, and Hartley was bypassed by the new railway, the need for a courthouse here diminished. Benefits were held in this grand old building during World War Two, and nowadays visitors can wander through, reading the interpretive signs and imagining the building’s vivid colonial past.
This fine example of colonial architecture allows you to imagine the convicts, magistrates and members of the public passing through its doors. Book in a guided tour.
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