Penitentiary Chapel and Criminal Courts

Chapel Front

This old chapel was built to serve the adjoining prisoner barracks, later gaol. It also served the nearby free population, until the Trinity Church was built in the 1840s. Designed by John Lee Archer in 1831, it's a t-shaped building with the front entrance and clock tower (shown here) forming the leg of the T. The rear of the building forms the cross bar.

Because of the way the site developed, the attractive sandstone side came to face the barracks and the more utilitarian brick walls faced the street.

The remains of the outer wall of the barracks runs down Campbell St. Part of it can be seen in the middle photo. Originally it was almost as high as the second storey windows. The height can be seen where it joins the chapel building (more clearly in the larger version of the photo ).

On the far left, just beyond the tour group, is the entrance to the recreated gallows.

Chapel Side

In the 1860s, two wings were converted to courts, which remained in use until recent decades. Now the building is the National Trust's Southern Regional Office, which runs tours of the courts and chapel complex (including the tunnels that connect the court rooms & cells) and also ghost tours.

For more pictures, here are some links to to images in the State Libary's collection

Images from the Heritage Collection

For more information

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