Supreme Court Gardens

Supreme Court Gardens is a park in the central business district of Perth, Western Australia, bounded by Riverside Drive, Barrack Street, Governors Avenue, and the buildings of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Supreme Court Gardens
TypeUrban park
LocationPerth, Western Australia
Coordinates31°57′31″S 115°51′36″E
EtymologyNamed after Supreme Court of Western Australia
Operated byCity of Perth

In the late 1880s Perth Water extended further north than its current boundary, and the river covered part of the area now occupied by the Supreme Court Gardens. What land there was south of the original court house and the Supreme Court building of the time was occupied by the police stables and Waterside Police Station.[1][2] The police buildings were demolished in 1902 when a new Supreme Court building was constructed, and part of the river was reclaimed.[3]

The gardens have had extensive trees, shrubbery and fencing, various small structures at different stages in the grounds in the past.[4]

The gardens have at times been very poorly lit, and had many darkened areas due to the vegetation - this culminated in concerns in 1985 over safety due to inadequate lighting.[5] By the 2000s large amounts of low shrubs and fences had been removed and better lighting introduced.

For many years The West Australian newspaper had an annual art show in the grounds.[6]

The orchestral shell[7] was constructed and opened in the grounds on 22 January 1956, and was burnt down in the 1990s.[8]

The gardens have had a significant number of events and concerts,[9][10][11] many associated with the Perth International Arts Festival.[12][13]


  1. Seddon, George; Ravine, David, 1955- (1986), A city and its setting : images of Perth, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fig 11:16 and accompanying text, page 213, ISBN 0 949206 08 3CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Old police stables and Waterside Police Station, now Supreme Court Gardens, Perth [picture] Battye Library 4776B Vol. 103 See also BA1522/15,39,68
  3. Seddon, George; Ravine, David, 1955- (1986), A city and its setting : images of Perth, Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Text accompanying Fig 7:20, page 130, ISBN 0 949206 08 3CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Gore, Stuart, 1905-1984; HRRC (1934), Perth, looking north up Barrack Street, Supreme Court Gardens in foreground [picture], retrieved 6 July 2014CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. The West Australian, 14 Feb. 1985, p.1,2; 15 Feb. 1985, p.2, 10; 9 Jan. 1985, p.3; 4 Sept. 1985, p.37.
  6. The West Australian outdoor art show, Supreme Court Gardens, Perth, Printed by General Printing, [1975], 1975, retrieved 6 July 2014
  7. also known as the Jubilee Orchestral Shell, as well as the Music Shell
  8. p.67-68 of Gregory, Jenny (Jennifer Anne); Perth (W.A. : Municipality). Council (2003), City of light : a history of Perth since the 1950s, City of Perth, ISBN 978-0-9594632-6-2
  9. "SUPREME COURT GARDENS FETE". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 5 November 1937. p. 6. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  10. Civic commemoration concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of the gazettal of the ordination and constitution by Royal letters patent of the town of Perth as a City by A.B.C. W.A. Symphony Orchestra ... in Supreme Court Gardens ... 4 November 1956 : programme, Sands & McDougall print, 1956, retrieved 6 July 2014
  11. Yaakiny Kooranginy: a concert, Supreme Court Gardens, Perth, WA, 21 March 1993 [Event description], 1993, retrieved 6 July 2014
  12. La Fura dels Baus, Supreme Court Gardens, Perth, WA, 5 February 2010 [Event description], 2010, retrieved 6 July 2014
  13. Perth International Arts Festival: West Australian Opera Company - Viva Verdi!, Supreme Court Gardens, Perth, WA, 3 February 2001 [Event description], 2001, retrieved 6 July 2014

See also

Further reading

  • Austen, Tom; St. George Books (1988), The streets of old Perth, Saint George Books, ISBN 978-0-86778-038-3
  • Richards, Oline (1982), "A fairer Athens and a freer Rome: historic public gardens in Perth, WA", Heritage (Australian Heritage Society), 1 (1): 66–69, ISSN 0155-2716

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