The Colonial Gaol and the Guildford Courthouse have important cultural heritage as fine examples of colonial architecture largely built by convict labour. The Heritage Precinct is integral to an understanding of the early settlement and development of Guildford, and the buildings are closely associated with Richard Roach Jewell, the Colonial Clerk of Works.
The Guildford Colonial Gaol was constructed in four stages 1841, 1851, 1853 and 1867. The Courthouse was constructed in 1866. The two buildings have significance to the people of Western Australia because they are examples of public buildings dating from early decades of colonial settlement in the State. These landmark buildings represent the history of law and order in Guildford and the Swan District from 1841 to 1969. In 1841 the first government building was constructed consisting of two cells, a constable’s room and stocks.
Both buildings are on the following Heritage Listings:
- Register of Heritage Places: Interim Entry 25/11/1994
- National Trust Classification: 21/03/1978
- Guildford Conservation Policy: 22/09/1992
- Register of National Estate: 21/03/1978
The Colonial Gaol is also home to a major collection of social history artefacts. You will be able to explore items that help to show how people lived and worked in Guildford and the surrounding area. What kind of kitchen utensils would be used? How was wood cut for the weatherboards, the roof shingles or even to make the roads? What kept food cool before electricity was available? What was the role of the blacksmith and what tools did the cooper use? We have a terrific collection of equestrian history from side saddles to stirrups and spurs.
Enjoy a browse through a time gone by. Our SGHS guides will let you in to the secrets behind many of the objects.