This building was dedicated to the National Trust in 1973 and has been run as a museum and tearooms. The collection is displayed in the police station and consists of memorabilia relating to its former use as a police station as well as the stonemason who built the complex, Joseph Mellor. There are items relating to C.J. Dennis (‘The Sentimental Bloke’ poet); and historic photographs and family and local history material. The cells and stables can be viewed across the courtyard.
The courthouse is currently leased to HATS (Heritage, Arts, Traditions) and is being used as a performance venue known as the Courthouse Cultural Centre.
The courthouse and police station complex began to be built in 1859 by local stonemason Joseph Mellor, being completed the following year at a cost of £850, and is a fine example of colonial stonemasons’ workmanship. The need for such buildings was recognised as the township of Auburn developed following the discovery of copper further north at Burra in the 1850s. Auburn became an important resting place for both miners and bullock drays transporting copper from the Burra mines to Port Wakefield on the coast at Gulf St Vincent.
A variety of local stone was used in the construction of the buildings. The office and dwelling are of field stones, possibly gathered by driving around with a dray, with quoins of Watervale sandstone. The Courthouse and cellblock were added in 1865, being built of Auburn bluestone, also with Watervale sandstone quoins. The cells have vaulted ceilings. There is Welsh slate roofing on the office gable and ribbon pointing on the south east corner of the office wall. The stable timberwork of Red Gum was hand-sawn in local sawpits. The building has a shingled roof and blinden (windows). There are three types of paving: flat, pitch and cobble work.