Perth Heritage Days – celebrate the remarkable city that we live in

Supreme Court

PERTH Heritage Days weekend is an annual celebration of the remarkable people; events, cultures, buildings and customs, which were all part of creating the wonderful city we live in.

In its ninth year, the heritage weekend will take a look at Perth from a new perspective as we reflect on the journeys of those who have gone before us.

The history of our city will come alive through exhibitions; walks, talks and performances in some of Perth’s most iconic locations.

Some of the highlights of the 2017 event include open days at both Government House and the Supreme Court, the first ever look inside the Old Perth Electricity Company HQ, new plans for the Cathedral House Gardens and an extraordinary exhibition, Kerosene Tins and Love Hearts.

The Supreme Court will be open for self-guided tours of this historic seat of justice in central Perth.

The foundation stone for the Supreme Court building, situated in Stirling Gardens, was laid in 1902.

The official opening was just one year later 8 June 1903.

This magnificent building has now been home to the State’s highest court for more than 100 years.

It has been the site of some of the most significant trials in the State’s history, affecting all Western Australians, including the last death sentence imposed in 1963.

You can view the heritage-listed courtrooms and the Chief Justice’s chambers, then finish your tour in the cells below the building.

You will walk down the same stairs to the cells directly beneath the courtroom from the dock in Court No 2 where sentenced prisoners have gone since 1903.

Historic legal documents, drawings, court robes and wigs will be on show, along with a display outlining an intriguing murder trial from almost 100 years ago.

On 27 August 1925, Perth’s social set were enjoying the highlight of the social season, the St John of God Ball, at the Government House ballroom next door to the Supreme Court when a shot rang out across the room.

Cyril Ridley was lying in a pool of blood after his 20-year-old former fiancé, Audrey Campbell Jacob, had shot him at point blank range with a revolver.

At that time the death penalty still existed in WA (it was abolished in 1984), so what happened to Ms. Jacob? Was she guilty, or not guilty?  Find out what the jury decided in this sensational, wilful murder trial.

The first courthouse built in Perth (1836) still exists next door to the current Supreme Court building.

Now the Old Court House Law Museum, it will also be open to the public.

For the first six years of the Colony, court business was conducted in the Anglican Church of St James, a small building with rush walls and a thatched roof. In 1836 Governor Stirling called for tenders for the construction of a new court and accepted the lowest bid of £698.

The building was designed by the colony’s civil engineer, Henry Reveley. When it opened in 1837 it also served as a church for all denominations and a schoolroom.

It is now central Perth’s oldest standing building.

The Law Museum is unique to Australia and one of a very small number of law museums worldwide.

In the museum’s recently refurbished exhibition gallery, you can view interpretive displays; Small Court House Big Stories; and People and The Law.

Both displays are accompanied by an audio overview which will take you on a journey through the workings of Western Australia’s legal history.

Open for the first time this year is the Perth Electricity Company headquarters.

In 1912 the Perth City Council acquired Perth Gas Co including the electricity generating system.

To accommodate the administrative requirements for the new organisation new three-storey building with a basement at 132 Murray Street, built by Todd Brothers for £15,587.

The building was taken over by the State Electricity Commission in 1948 and continued as their administrative centre.

Recently, the building has undergone a major restoration, retaining many of the architectural features.

Now you can see inside this Murray Street building which has been closed to the public for years.

There is so much to see and do during Perth Heritage Days 2017, so join us in the city to uncover the historical layers and dimensions of our city from a new perspective, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October.

The program will be available from 30 September.

All events are free but some require advance booking.

For more information about Perth Heritage Days, visit and follow us on Facebook or