The Judges House. Photograph © Ross Heathcote

The Judge's House

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This Georgian cottage is the only surviving colonial house in the heart of the city and is Sydney’s second oldest building. The house was built as a single-storey, stone walled rectangle containing six rooms and hall. Of typical Georgian design, the verandah is supported on Doric columns on the eastern, northern and southern sides, bonded with shell-lime mortar.

The cottage was originally built for William Harper a Scottish migrant who worked as an assistant surveyor. Ill health caused Harper to retire when still young and his home was rented to the second Chief Justice of New South Wales, Sir James Dowling in 1828, from where it gets its name. The house has had various tenants including a vinegar maker, a master mariner, a surgeon and a butcher.

In 1997 the Capital Investment Group purchased the Judge’s House for its corporate headquarters. It remains in their ownership today and they continue to policy of preservation of this unique property.

Date built & architects
C1820 architect unknown
1978 Gordon Fuller, restoration and in 1992 further renovation and underpinning
City Pass sales now closed
Sunday 4 November
9:30am - 5pm
What can I see?
Ground floor foyer; vestibule and front rooms
531 Kent Street, Sydney Get directions
Via Kent Street
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Toilets available
  • Photography permitted

Image: The Judges House. Photograph © Ross Heathcote