New Life for Denman Courthouse

While there was a time when a visit to the Courthouse wouldn’t have been a good thing, the Old Denman Courthouse is a different story all together.

Designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet, the Palace Street Courthouse was built in 1881 in front of the sergeants quarters on the block that went up in 1860.

Current owners Maria and Ian Simpson purchased the now B’n’B in 2018 and love getting to share it, and its history, with visitors.

“I have always wanted to have a tea room, and then this came up and Ian said ‘well we have got to get out of the farm so let’s do this’,” Maria said.

“It’s part of Denman community and we want to make it so that the Denman community can use it.”

Maria hopes to gather as much history as they can to preserve it and to turn the gaol into a museum.

“They have all got stories to tell, whether they are good or bad, if they were on this side of the fence or that,” she said with a laugh about talking to people in the community about the property.

“There are a lot of locals that say they used to come to this back door to get their drivers licence and that sort of thing.

“When the guy that renovated it (converting it to a residence) pulled the floorboards up he found a service revolver, complete with bullets, all wrapped up in an oily rag.”

The building is listed as being of local heritage significance which means the exterior needs to be kept as it was, and the inside can be manipulated as the owners see fit.

It currently contains four bedrooms upstairs and the ground floor is used for tea parties and hosting small group events.

The sergeants quarters out the back are currently used as storage but will be converted into an accessible room.