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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > About us > Our history > 1859


Europeans settled in Queensland in 1825 when Brisbane was selected as a penal settlement for British convicts. The penal settlement closed in 1842 and free settlement was established.
The state was originally part of the British-administered colony of New South Wales. On 10 December 1859 Queensland separated from New South Wales and the Colony of Queensland was established.
After separation, New South Wales administrators withdrew and the new colony was left to develop its own public service. This, together with an increasing number of immigrants moving to the state, brought about a program of building works which was to give Queensland some of its best examples of 19th century architecture.
One of the first buildings to be commissioned was a courthouse for Ipswich. Designed by Colonial Architect, Charles Tiffin, the building was completed on 19 July 1859.
The stone and brick neo-classical structure became the archetype for many of the courthouses built in the colony for the rest of the century. The building continued to serve as Ipswich’s courthouse until the early 1980’s when a modern court complex was built. The original courthouse is now heritage-listed and serves as an important reminder of the beginnings of Queensland.

Last updated 11 June 2014    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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