Now there is a fine Georgian court house in the town built from sandstone between 1836 and 1838. The first trial by jury in New South Wales was held here and among notable trials was the one of Lucretia Dunkley and her lover Martin Beech in 1843. They were both convicted of the murder of Dunkley's husband, and Lucretia Dunkley has the unenviable distinction of being the only woman hanged at the adjacent Berrima Gaol.
Their trial is represented in the court house with an audio display and wigged and befrocked mannequins. Visitors are encouraged to sit among the spectactor pews and witness the scene unold with recordings of the original transcripts. The whole atmosphere is spooky and disturbing and I was pleased to escape out into the fresh air.
|Berrima Court House|
This fabulous patchwork hangs in the courthouse and was created in 2006 to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Berrima. The seven square-metre quilt was stitched by local residents. The border features kangaroos, kookaburras, black swans, platypuses and the names of the children enrolled in the Berrima Primary School in 2006.
Applique patchwork images of the local buildings and attractions were made by local patchworkers and added to the quilt's depiction of the village.