Built in 1869 of Tea Tree Gully sandstone, from a design by the Colonial Architect R. G. Thomas with, it is believed, some assistance by William McMinn, it features a three-arched entrance, cast iron gates, and Ionic columns. The whole is topped by a balustraded parapet and a pediment under which has been carved the British coat of arms.
The Supreme Court is one of the most impressive of Adelaide’s public buildings reflecting the significance attached to the administration of justice in South Australia. Its historical significance rests on the fact that is was part of the expansion and development of the State’s legal system serving as the Local and Insolvency Court (from 1869) and then most importantly as the Supreme Court (since 1873). Many notable South Australians have been associated with the Supreme Court as Chief Justices Judges and others in particular Sir Richard Davies Hanson Sir Samuel Way and Dame Roma Mitchell. Architecturally the building is a grand and dominant structure in keeping with its role and is a major landmark feature in Victoria Square. It is a significant element in the State’s most important historical group of law buildings which includes the Magistrates Court the original Police Court and the Sir Samuel Way Law Courts. Although altered internally the building has retained much of its original detail and furnishings. Court Number 2 is the oldest original Court interior in South Australia.