Beechworth Courthouse Kelly Trials Project

  • Project typeRefurbishment
  • Project value$1M ($500K Vic Govt grant)
  • Project scheduleOn Schedule
  • Completion Date20 June 2023
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About this project?

Located at the centre of the Beechworth Historic Precinct, the Beechworth Historic Courthouse is a significant site in Australia’s legal history. The Courthouse played a key role during the Kelly outbreak of 1878-1880, as the location of more than 40 trials and hearings for the Kelly Gang and their sympathisers.

Most significantly, the Courthouse was the site of Ned Kelly’s committal hearing after his arrest at Glenrowan, and the project will explore this key event in Australian history. 

This project will interpret the stories of this period, focussing on the events that took place in the Courthouse and the people who worked there. It will also tell the subsequent history of the Courthouse, including its transformation into a heritage site in the late 20th Century. It will utilise a combination of traditional museum displays, original artefacts, museum signage and modern projection technologies to allow visitors to step back in time and experience these significant events.

Why is this project being undertaken?

This project is a major investment in cultural heritage interpretation and tourism. It is jointly funded by Indigo Shire and the Victorian State Government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund, and is intended to increase cultural heritage tourism to the region. 

The project recognises the significance of the Beechworth Historic Courthouse and seeks to raise the level of interpretation, ensuring an immersive, authentic and educative experience for all visitors.

The Courthouse is listed on the Victorian State Heritage Register, and the project will work within all relevant heritage protections. Projection technology has been selected for its minimal impact, non-invasive nature. 

What is happening and when?

The Heritage Conservation Review contract has been awarded to NBRS and will be completed by June 2022. The Curatorial and Interpretation Plan contract has been awarded to Convergence and will be delivered by July 2022. Convergence will build on existing project work undertaken in 2020-21 to develop a rich and professionally researched curatorial plan. A Design, Construct and Install contract will go to tender after the Curatorial contract is completed, and will be completed by June 2023.

June 2022 update

Drafts of two important plans have now been completed. These will form the basis of the final exhibition and are exciting steps in the project timeline.

The first, a conservation and heritage report, has been drafted by NBRS, building on existing heritage documentation. This will guide the design of the exhibition while ensuring that all heritage requirements and recommendations are met. It identifies key areas and objects of heritage significance.

The team has also received the draft interpretation plan from Convergence. It identifies storylines, trials and personalities to feature in the exhibition, as well as setting out the themes and historical context.

This is absolutely central to moving forward and will ensure that the exhibition is educational, respectful, historically accurate and, importantly, an enjoyable experience.

These plans are both with the project team now for review.

When they’re finalised Council will go out to tender for a museum design company to create the physical exhibition and multimedia elements.







Ford Street, Beechworth   View Map

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