Before the start of Quilting in the Highlands, on the Friday we took our teachers out for a day in Berrima. This was a great way for the them to see the town and to relax before the start of the retreat. Our first stop for the day was Berrima Courthouse.
Despite having a business in Berrima for nearly the past 5 years I have to admit that I have never been through the courthouse. It is a grand old building, which in 1835 a foundation stone was laid by Governor Bourke. The sandstone of the building was quarried at Church Hill (behind Holy Trinity Church of England today). It took 3 years to build. The courthouse does have an interesting history with many hangings taking place here.
The tour of the courthouse starts with a video presentation about the history of Berrima and the Courthouse. Then you go through the various rooms, one of which has on display the Berrima Quilt. You view the cells and then go into the main courtroom where they have a light and sound display with a trial all set up. At first it was like being a school kid again on a school excursion but I really enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity to give the teachers an insight into the village history. If you are in Berrima definitely go and check it out.
They do have a website http://www.berrimacourthouse.org.au/index.htm so please check it out. The Berrima Court House is owned by the NSW State Government and is managed by a Trust comprised of local residents. The museum employs a manager/curator and is staffed by volunteers. The only revenue they receive is via visitors to the Court House and retail sales from the gift shop and of course fund raising events held by Friends of the Berrima Court House. They are not funded by local, state or federal governments. It is important that we support them as without our help this part of Berrima's history would be lost.
After the Courthouse tour it was time for lunch. The Courtyard Cafe was our choice. They also have great service and food and they definitely did not disappoint. 2 hours later...... it was time to explore the shops of the village and a few happy snaps. I did hear that some of them also sneaked over to the Gumnut Pâtissière for afternoon tea! It was a long day but enjoyed by all.
Photo of our Quilting in the Highlands teachers outside the Lolly Swagman L-R Sue Dennis, Carol Doak and Melinda Bula