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Ipswich Court House

  • 600575
  • 75 East Street, Ipswich


Also known as
Now known as Old Court House
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Law/order, immigration, customs, quarantine: Courthouse—magistrates/court of petty sessions
6.1 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Establishing settlements and towns
7.1 Maintaining order: Policing and maintaining law and order
Tiffin, Charles
Construction period
1859–1936, Ipswich Court House (1859 - 1936)
Historical period
1840s–1860s Mid-19th century


75 East Street, Ipswich
Ipswich City Council
-27.6177857, 152.75967021


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The size and quality of the building demonstrate the importance of Ipswich as a major centre at this time.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

Completed in 1859, the Court House is a rare example of a government building constructed in Queensland prior to Separation.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

It still contains early bench and court fittings and is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of an early courthouse.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

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 GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

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 HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

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.


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.


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.

Image gallery


Location of Ipswich Court House within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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