Sunday 26 March 2017

Camden Police Station and Court House

s Camden Police Station and Residence

35 John Street
Lot 2 DP 826795
Camden Police Station 1997 J Kooyman Camden Images

Camden Court House

33 John Street
Lot 1 DP 826795

Camden Court House 1991 CWTimes Camden Images

Camden Police Station and Residence

History and Description

 Camden Police Station is a single storey brick building typical of many official police buildings of the last quarter of the nineteenth century

Before the John Street building was constructed, police used a timber lock-up and adjoining residence (c.1844). (

The police barracks was built in 1878 and probably the work of the Colonial Architect James Barnet. It was initially constructed in 1879 as two adjacent police cottages.

Historical sources consider that the Police Sergeant lived in the west end of the building, and the constable lived in the east end. The mounted constable boarded elsewhere. The police horse was kept in the non-presbyterian church area (1925-1950's). Wooden posts tethered the horse.  (NSW SHI)

Camden Police Station has a corrugated iron hipped roof and brick chimneys. The building has a paved verandah with carved timber posts and brackets. It has a four panelled timber entrance door with a highlight window, and eight double-hung pane windows with sandstone sills. The front fa├žade is symmetrically designed with two projecting wings and a central recessed verandah. It is sited adjacent to the courthouse. (NSW SHI)

Condition and Use

These police barracks were built in 1878
Constructed in face brickwork.
Picket fence along footpath has been removed.
The building has been restored and modernised to facilitate its continuing use as a Police Station.
Alterations and additions, 1972 1980. (NSW SHI)
The verandah was once enclosed but has been fully restored in recent times.

The building is no longer used as a police station since the new Local Area Command Police Station was opened at Narellan in 2011.  

Heritage Significance

The building retains functional integrity and intactness. (NSW SHI)

The building is representative of the style of official or important early buildings in the town. The building's value lies in its relationship to the other important buildings in the John Street Group. (Australian Heritage Database)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item  44

Read more

 Phillip Haylock, The Very Sociable Policeman, Camden History, Volume 3 No 7 March 2014, pp. 256-258,
Charlotte Hemans, 'Policing Camden in the early years, Camden Police Station, 1805-1878', Camden History, Vol 2, No 8, September 2009, pp. 305-312
The District Reporter, 6 March 2017

Camden John Street Precinct with the courthouse on the right-hand side of the street before the police station was built. The police station was eventually built between Macaria and the courthouse in 1878.  Image is the early 1870s (Camden Images)

Camden Court House

History and Description

 Camden Court House is built on land set aside for this purpose by James and William Macarthur at the time the town allotment plans were laid down. The brothers also offered £100 towards the cost of the building.

The first buildings on this site were a timber lock-up and Chief Constable's residence. The present construction was commenced in 1855 and completed in 1857 with cells underneath and at the rear. The building was designed during William Weaver's term as Government Architect. A new lock-up was built to replace the old one between 1859-61.

A Court of Petty Sessions at Camden was established by Proclamation on 20 July 1841 after lengthy opposition from both Campbelltown and Picton. They were requesting that the Cawdor Court be removed either to Campbelltown or Picton. Until that date, the Court was still at Cawdor. (

The first Clerk of the Bench in the area was James Pearson who was Clerk at Cawdor until his death on 13 July 1841. John Downes Wood, a nephew of Charles Cowper, was appointed the first Clerk of Petty Sessions for Camden by Government Proclamation on 23 September 1841. When the new courthouse was completed the Clerk of the Bench was J.B. Martin, who retained this position for 35 years. (

Camden Court House is a small Italianate court building with a temple front loggia with three arches. It is a painted ashlar building with painted chimneys and a gable shingled roof. There is a circular window on the front facade, and twelve panes and two-pane double-hung windows on the side facades. The entrance door is a six panelled timber door. The cells were constructed underneath and at the rear. (NSW SHI)

Condition and Use

Camden Court House was built between 1855-1860.
The building is in good condition. (NSW SHI)

In 2013 the NSW Government spent $200,000 on the refurbishment of Camden courthouse. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 25 September 2013)

Heritage Significance

Camden courthouse, like its neighbouring police station, is of little value alone. Its value lies in its relationship to the other important buildings. It is probably the work of colonial architect Alexander Dawson. (Australian Heritage Database)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item  43
Australian Heritage Commission        Australian Heritage Database  ID 3230

Read more

Iliana Stillitano, 'Court shut down', Camden. Narellan Advertiser, 1 July 2014