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Administrator’s Offices and Cell Block

This is the site of the 1870 Palmerston Police Station and cells.

The original buildings were of crude timber and disintegrated because of white ants. In 1881, the stone cells at the rear of the site were erected. These were used until 1883 when prisoners were transferred to the new gaol at Fannie Bay.

In 1884, a new court house and police station of stone and Cyprus pine, impervious to white ants, were constructed. The cells were used as police holding cells. The court house survived the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942, but the police station had to be demolished. The building then served as Naval Headquarters until December 1974 when it suffered significant damage during Cyclone Tracy.

Several of the 1884 doors, windows, roof trusses and verandah posts were salvaged and the building reconstructed with some variations. Opening once again in 1981 as the offices of the Administrator, the building is significant as a rare example of early public buildings in Darwin. The office and cell block are significant because they represent the continuous presence of Westminster institutions in European settlement of the Territory.