Links and documents
1901/01/01 to 1906/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. George’s Courthouse is a two-storey Second Empire style building located in St. George’s, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The St. George’s Court House has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure because of its architectural and historic values.
Architecturally, the Court House in St. George’s is valuable because it is a good representation of the style of judicial buildings constructed throughout Newfoundland during the early 20th century. Most feel that this building was probably designed under Superintendent William Henry Churchill, who was also responsible for designing other similar courthouses in Newfoundland including the one in Greenspond. Built in the Second Empire style, this building is unusual in the fact that it is only two-storeys tall whereas other courthouses built in Newfoundland during that time were a standard three- storeys. Though the court rooms were large in size, the lack of a third-storey is reflective of the small size of the community.
St. George’s Court House is historically valuable because of its associations with the improvements to the justice system in Newfoundland and also the development of the community of St. Georges. This building was one of the first courts to be set up on the West Coast and, additionally, it was equipped to house prisoners while awaiting trial. Originally the courthouse contained, in addition to courtrooms, a post office and a customs office. In 1943 the layout was drastically changed in order to accommodate the Constabulary, a drug room, a treatment room and offices, resulting in the downsizing of the main courtroom. Nine years later, the jail was replaced with a clinic. These changes speak of the increasing need for additional services in St. Georges during the mid 20th century. As of today, the courthouse serves as an Indian Band Council Office which is significant to the people of St. George's due to the fact that this was the location of the first Mi’kmaq settlement in Newfoundland.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered property file, St. George's - St. George's Courthouse
All original features which relate to the age and construction of the building in the Newfoundland interpretation of the Second Empire style, including:
-location and style of dormer windows;
-ornate decoration including eaves bracketing, large window trim, central pediment, etc.;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-original window openings in regards to shape and location;
-original doors and location of openings;
-large corner boards;
-building height, massing and dimensions.
All interior features that reflect the original intended use of the building, including:
-ceiling height of the top floor; and
-existing jail doors and hardware in the lower portion of the building.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Historic Resources Act
Registered Heritage Structure
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Courthouse and/or Registry Office
Architect / Designer
William Henry Churchill
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador,
1 Springdale Street,
St. John’s Newfoundland
Cross-Reference to Collection