Founded in 1826 by the Australian Agricultural Company (AAC), Stroud is the nation's oldest surviving 'company' town.
A gated community in early times, it still has at its heart four significant buildings erected by the company to form the towns' educational, social and religious hub. These buildings remain today as a living, working memorial to the convict and free settlers who built Stroud and helped found corporate agriculture in Australia.
These buildings are grouped together on the Register of the National Estate - Stroud Courthouse is one of these special buildings The first Stroud Courthouse was constructed on this site in the 1840s. The present, convict built, building was completed in 1876 and remained in regular use until 1974, with the police residence and cells having been removed in the 1930s.
The Stroud Courthouse now serves the district as an historical museum. The courtroom is still intact with its original features and red cedar furnishings and fittings, as well as housing detailed local family history records, photographs and historical material - particularly concerning the unsolved McAskell murders which were investigated here in 1878.
At the back of the courthouse, there are two sheds which contain many historical relics with examples of old machinery and tools used in bygone days.
Great Lakes Council works in close collaboration with the Stroud Historical Society to preserve and maintain this historic building.