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Banco Court (Supreme Court of New South Wales) facts for kids

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Banco Court
(Supreme Court of NSW)
Supreme Court of NSW, St James Road Court on St James Road in Sydney.jpg
Pictured in March 2019
Location St James Road, Sydney, Australia
Built 1895–1896
Architect Walter Liberty Vernon
Architectural style(s) Federation Free Classical
Owner Department of Justice
Official name: Banco Court, Sydney Supreme Court House; Sydney Supreme Court House (Banco Court); St James Law Courts; King Street Courts
Type State heritage (built)
Designated 2 April 1999
Reference no. 799
Type Courthouse
Category Law Enforcement
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The former Banco Court of the Supreme Court of New South Wales is a heritage-listed courthouse at St James Road, Sydney, Australia. It was designed by Walter Liberty Vernon and built from 1895 to 1896. It is also known as Sydney Supreme Court House (Banco Court), St James Law Courts and King Street Courts. The property is owned by the Department of Justice, a department of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

The historic Banco Court building is not the current Banco Court (i.e. the large courtroom where the judges of the court can sit en banc) of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Since the construction of the Law Courts Building on Queen's Square nearby, the Banco Court has been located on level 13 of that building. The modern Banco Court is used for full court sittings, as well as ceremonies.


The Banco Court building now forms part of the Supreme Court House group. It was designed by the Government Architect W. L. Vernon and built in 1895–96. The building was awarded the 2004 Energy Australia National Trust Heritage Award.


The Banco Court is a Federation Free Classical building with Baroque influenced decoration evident in the intricate sandstone carving around the window and building entrances. Interiors feature intact elaborate plasterwork and cedar joinery. This building relates well in design and siting to the neighbouring St James' Church. The Banco Court is constructed in face red brick which has contrasting sandstone detailing and trim. Interior materials include cedar joinery and plastework.r

The building is in good condition.

Heritage listing

As at 11 January 2001, the Sydney Supreme Court building (Banco Court) located at the rear of the Old Registry building facing St James Road has historic significance as part of the Supreme Court complex. The building has aesthetic significance as a fine and largely intact example of an early twentieth century building in the Federation Free Style, and as the only courthouse in the city constructed in this style. The building makes an important contribution to the character of the immediate area, and with its small town scale blends well with the older buildings in the complex. The building has historic and social significance as part of the site. The site is significant as the location chosen for Macquarie's first Georgian Public School which was modified during construction to accommodate the first New South Wales Supreme Court building. Representative of the style as used in a courthouse building and the quality of the interior detailing is representative of the importance given to judicial buildings at the turn of the century.

The Banco Court, Sydney Supreme Court House was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

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