Warracknabeal Court House

A late-Victorian court house ready for reactivation


30 Woolcock Street, Warracknabeal

Barengi Gadjin land


Working Heritage has recently completed repairs and improvements to the building in anticipation of developing a new use. In October 2018, Creative Victoria awarded Working Heritage and project partners Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA) $75, 000 to develop a creative future for the building and surrounds. In 2019 the team from MADA and Working Heritage will be working with the local community to pilot an artist residence, studio and art hotel at the site. 

The Court House stands on the land of the Wotjobaluk people, represented by the Barengi Gadjin Land Council. 


The Warracknabeal Court House was constructed in 1890 after a population boom in the north-west of Victoria throughout the 1870s and 1880s. The building began life as a court of petty sessions and continued to function as a courthouse until 1989. At various times it also hosted the Lands and Survey Department, and, unusually, an Infant Welfare Service. The original building is one of a set of seven similar courthouses throughout north-western Victoria designed by Public Works Department architect S.E Bindley. More recently the Warracknabeal Historical Society used the buildng as a meeting space. 

Court records reveal that the court at Warracknabeal heard a range of cases that reveal details about intimate lives and changing social mores – including a claim a case of 'breach of promise of marriage'. 

The future

After carrying out significant repairs, including the removal of more recent additions to the buildings, Working Heritage is now focussed on developing uses for the building which will see it enjoyed and valued by the local community and those from further afield.


Michael Challinger, Historic Courthouses of Victoria, 2001.
Trudy Rickard, Warracknabeal Court house Conservation Managment Plan, 2011.

Photograph courtesy of the Warracknabeal Historical Society.

Warracknabeal Court House
Warracknabeal Court House


t: 9600 1667
e: info@workingheritage.com.au

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