Hartley Courthouse

Hartley Historic Site

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

This fine example of colonial architecture allows you to imagine the convicts, magistrates and members of the public passing through its doors. Book a guided tour through Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
44 Old Great Western Highway, Hartley, NSW, 2790 - in Hartley Historic Site in Sydney and surrounds
Accessibility
Medium
Price

Courthouse and church $8.80 per person. 

Opening times

Take a self-guided tour of Hartley Courthouse Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

Bookings
Call or email Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre to make a booking. Book in advance for large groups, school groups, special needs groups or other pre-arranged visits.
Hire this venue

Hartley Courthouse is available for events and function hire.

Hartley Courthouse was designed by colonial architect Mortimer Lewis in the Grecian Revival style. Still largely intact and constructed solidly of locally quarried sandstone, it is an imposing building, as it was designed to be.

The three doorways provided entrances for prisoners, the public and magistrates and visitors can examine the cellblock that housed prisoners and convicts. Many notorious bushrangers and cattle thieves were kept here and inside the cells, with their bars and bolts still in position, you can imagine the thoughts of men used to roaming the country locked up tight in this remote prison.

As the convict system faded into history, and Hartley was bypassed by the new railway, the need for a courthouse here diminished. Benefits were held in this grand old building during World War II, and nowadays visitors can wander through, reading the interpretive signs and imagining the building’s vivid colonial past.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Also see

  • Hartley Visitor Centre, Hartley Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer © OEH

    Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre

    Stop in at Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre to find out about the history of the buildings and town, book tours, and stock up on snacks and drinks.

  • St Bernards Church and churchyard, Hartley Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

    St Bernards Church

    Take a tour or arrange a wedding at St Bernards Church in Hartley, a lovingly preserved example of colonial sandstone architecture.

  • The exterior of Hartley Courthouse framed by trees in Hartley Historic Site. Photo: Jennifer Leahy © DPIE

    Hartley Courthouse

    Providing a rare vivid glimpse into Australia’s colonial past, Hartley Courthouse is the perfect venue for history buffs, or for those just looking for a venue hire option with a uniquely historic flavour.

Map


Map legend

Map legend

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/hartley-courthouse/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Hartley Courthouse.

Getting there and parking

On entering Hartley Historic Site:

  • Hartley Courthouse is located on the right as you enter the village

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Street parking is available nearby to Hartley Courthouse. Bus parking is available.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you at Hartley Historic Site. Here are some of the highlights.

Spring

Enjoy the village as the days grow warmer and the trees are in blossom.

Summer

Bring the kids in the school holidays and step inside the amazing coolness of Hartley Courthouse, with its thick sandstone walls.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

12°C and 25°C

Highest recorded

38.4°C

Winter temperature

Average

1°C and 13°C

Lowest recorded

–8°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

179mm

Facilities

Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own or purchase from the visitor centre.

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area. There is a portable wheelchair ramp.

Permitted

Pets

Dogs are permitted in Hartley Historic Site, but you’ll need to keep them on a leash at all times.

Prohibited

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Learn more

Hartley Courthouse is in Hartley Historic Site. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal meeting place

Hartley Court House, Hartley Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

Hartley was once a meeting place for the Wiradjuri from the west and Gundungurra tribes from the east. In colonial times, Hartley Courthouse served as a mustering point for Aboriginal people.

Excellent bushwalking on historic roads

Picnic area in Hartley Historic Site. Photo: Christina Bullivant

The Hartley area is great for bushwalking along the early roads. After your visit to the village, you may like to set out on Lawson's Long Alley, Lockyer's Pass or Berghofer's Pass. Check out the Lithgow Town and Around website for details. The rural setting of Hartley is welcoming and peaceful – perfect for a picnic or a satisfying stroll. Explore the interesting remnants of heritage plantings surrounding the buildings in the village and keep an eye out for the many birds that thrive amid the gardens and native forest.

  • Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre Stop in at Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre to find out about the history of the buildings and town, book tours, and stock up on snacks and drinks.

The story of settlement

Ivy Cottage, Hartley Historic Site. Photo: John Spencer

This exceptionally well-maintained village is of national historical significance as a substantial early nineteenth-century settlement. It tells modern visitors a great deal about the expansion of European development in inland Australia and the beautiful old buildings illustrate the changing role and fortunes of Hartley from first settlement of the inland to the beginning of the motor transport era. You can find out all sorts of interesting facts at the visitor centre and educational groups can book tours with advance notice on (02) 6355 2117.

  • A Moment in Time exhibition Augustus Earle's (1793-1838) painting, 'A Moment in Time', courtesy of the National Library, is one of several images incorporated in the exhibition being shown at Corney's Garage in Hartley Historic Site. 
  • Hartley Courthouse This fine example of colonial architecture allows you to imagine the convicts, magistrates and members of the public passing through its doors. Book a guided tour through Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre.
  • Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre Stop in at Hartley Historic Site Visitor Centre to find out about the history of the buildings and town, book tours, and stock up on snacks and drinks.
  • Hartley historical tour On this interactive Stage 3 (Years 5-6) History excursion, students visit key sites in the Hartley Historic Site colonial village: the courthouse, the gaol and St Bernard’s Church. They'll explore the history of how this key colony developed.
  • St Bernards Church Take a tour or arrange a wedding at St Bernards Church in Hartley, a lovingly preserved example of colonial sandstone architecture.

Education resources (1)

School excursions (1)