A police barracks in a country town

Camden Police Station and Residence

History and Description

Camden Police Station is a single storey brick building typical of many official police buildings of the last quarter of the nineteenth century and is located at 35 John Street, Camden.

Camden Police Station 1997 J Kooyman Camden Images
The is a view of Camden Police Station and Residence at 35 John Street Camden. This image was taken in 1997 by photographer John Kooyman when the station was still in use by the NSW Police Service. The station was the centre of a Police District that stretched out to the Burragorang Valley in the west of the area before Warragamba Dam was opened in 1960. (Camden Images)


Before the John Street building was constructed police used a timber lock-up and adjoining residence (c.1844). (http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/chhistoricplaces.html)

The police barracks was built in 1878 and probably the work of the Colonial Architect James Barnet. It was originally built in 1879 as two adjacent police cottages.

Historical sources consider that the Police Sergeant lived in the west end of the building and the constable lived in the east end. The mounted constable boarded elsewhere. The police horse was kept in the non-presbyterian church area (1925-1950’s). Wooden posts tethered the horse.  (NSW SHI)

Camden Police Station has a corrugated iron hipped roof and brick chimneys. The building has a paved verandah with carved timber posts and brackets. It has a four panelled timber entrance door with a highlight window and eight pane double hung windows with sandstone sills. The front façade is symmetrically designed with two projecting wings and a central recessed verandah. It is sited adjacent to the courthouse. (NSW SHI)

Condition and Use

These police barracks were constructed in face brickwork and the original picket fence along footpath has been removed. The building has been restored and modernised to facilitate its continuing use as a Police Station.

There was alterations and additions in 1972  and 1980. (NSW SHI)

The barracks are a good example of the police buildings for that period. The verandah was once enclosed but has been fully restored in recent times.

The building is no longer used as a Police Station since the new Local Area Command Police Station was opened at Narellan on Friday 12 August 2011. (http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/chhistoricplaces.html)

Heritage Significance

The building retains good integrity and intactness (NSW SHI) and is representative of the style of official or important early buildings in the town. The building’s value lies in its relationship to the other important buildings in the John Street Group. (Australian Heritage Database)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan   2010     Item  44

 Read more

Phillip Haylock, The Very Sociable Policeman, Camden History, Volume 3 No 7 March 2014, pp. 256-258,

Charlotte Hemans, ‘Policing Camden in the early years, Camden Police Station, 1805-1878’, Camden History, Vol 2, No 8, September 2009, pp. 305-312

The District Reporter, 6 March 2017

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