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The building, as it was originally constructed according to the drawings on the 1879 and 1890 BEV's (Bird's Eye View Maps), was a five-bay, hipped roof structure with a central main door facing Cornwallis Street and the St. John's Church square. In the main hall, painted on the wall, probably over the original judge's bench, is a large mural bearing an old Royal Coat of Arms and the inscription Fiat Justitia ruat caelum ("Let Justice be done though heaven fall"). This mural has recently been restored to its original splendor.
By 1890, the Court House had become run down and the Chief Justice of the time declared he would not hold court unless the building was repaired. Eventually the building was condemned and it was decided that a new court house would be built.
Although altered over the years, the Parish Hall still substantially retains its original character.