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St. John’s – Supreme Court

St. John’s was named by John Cabot who sailed through The Narrows and into the harbour on June 24, 1497 which was St. John’s Day.


Location:  St. John’s is located in the eastern part of Newfoundland Island along the Atlantic Ocean.


Judicial District:  St. John’s Judicial District


Supreme Court Courthouse – St. John’s


Location:  309 Duckworth Street / McBrides Hill

Built:  1901 – 1904

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  William H Greene

Contractor:  Samuel Manners Brockfield of Nova Scotia


Description:  The building faces northwest and is a five story grey coloured granite structure. The building is located in the center of St John’s and is built into the side of the hill along the northwest side. Construction included granite from Petites Quarries, whinstone from Kelly’s Island, brick from Trinity Factories and lumber. There is a large dark wood staircase on the fourth floor. The building has six courtrooms. The main courtroom is on the north side of the Duckworth Street level fourth story. There is another large courtroom on the north side of the second story and a small courtroom on the southeast side of the second story. On the south Water Street side, there is a square stone clock tower on the southeast corner and a stone portico and steps entering the second floor level at the south entrance. On the northwest side id a round tower with conical roof. The truncated hip roof has multiple gables. The building was repaired in 1929 and 1955.


Note  : The first courthouse and jail was a wood structure built in 1870. The second courthouse was a two story structure built in 1831 and destroyed by fire in 1846. Public hanging were staged from the second story window. The third courthouse was constructed in 1847 as a Market House and Courthouse. The building burned in the Great Fire of 1892. Other contractors during construction of the present and fourth courthouse were W G Ellis ( granite  ), Howard Lumber Company, Mr. St. Claire ( clerk of the work ) and J H Jost ( superintendent of work ). The cost of construction was $128,000.


See:  The courthouse is one of two stone courthouses with the other courthouse located at Harbour Grace.


See:  Located in the city is the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal and the St. John’s – Provincial Court




Supreme Court Courthouse




































































Picture 1847 Courthouse

Photos taken 1997 and 2019