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Visiting Oxford County Court House, Woodstock, Ontario: Late Victorian, Neo-Romanesque Solidity Dating from 1892

Updated on April 11, 2019
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Oxford County Court House in Woodstock, Ontario. Built around 1892.
Oxford County Court House in Woodstock, Ontario. Built around 1892. | Source

By Cuthbertson and Fowler, a strong representation of Romanesque style

Completed in 1892, the Oxford County Court House, in Woodstock, Ontario, was influenced by a revival of Romanesque architectural style in the late 19th century. The style in view at the Oxford County Court House is sometimes referred to as Richardson Romanesque.

The Oxford County Court House thus features typical Romanesque characteristics such as Syrian arches over windows and at entranceways at the building's Hunter Street elevation, rusticated stonework, and an example of conical roofing. Among the most conspicuous features of the historic structure is the 6 storey tower.

Interestingly, its architects, Cuthbertson of Woodstock and Fowler of Toronto, were appointed after an unresolved disagreement with a previous architect, R T Brooks, who had been retained for the task.

A previous courthouse, which the current building — still used for the same purpose — replaced, dated from 1839.

A monument in the grounds of the Court House is dedicated to a Woodstock man George Leslie Mackay (1844-1901), from a Presbyterian background, who served as a missionary in Taiwan, founding schools and a hospital. Cannons dating from 1842 and 1843 (1), and a monument to the Oxford Rifles, dating from 1904, are also displayed in the Court House grounds.

Historical tours of the Oxford County Court House are sometimes organized locally (2).

The surrounding grounds have well manicured lawns and flowerbeds; and at night, when parts of the Oxford County Court House are floodlit, the structure is truly striking. The visitor thus receives a strong sense of living history and continuity from the late 19th century at this very significant locale.

The Oxford County Court House is located a 415 Hunter Street, Woodstock, Ontario, at the intersection of Hunter and Light Streets, and, conveniently for the enterprising sightseer, is situated within easy walking distance of various other historic buildings in Woodstock.

April 12, 2019


(1) These cannons were acquired by the Woodstock Member of the Dominion (Federal) Parliament, the Honourable James Sutherland in the year 1900.

(2) See also:

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Oxford County Court House in Woodstock, Ontario. Built around 1892.
Oxford County Court House in Woodstock, Ontario. Built around 1892. | Source
Oxford County Court House in Woodstock, Ontario. Built around 1892.
Oxford County Court House in Woodstock, Ontario. Built around 1892. | Source

Also worth seeing

Woodstock itself has various examples of fine ecclesiastical architecture, including Old St. Paul's Church, dating from 1834; other buildings, including the City Hall, the Old Town Hall, and the Old Armoury are also worth seeing.

In London , Ontario (distance: 43.4 kilometres) prominent buildings and visitor attractions include: Eldon House; St. Paul's Cathedral; the Middlesex County Court building; the former Armouries; the Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

Kitchener (distance: 57.7 kilometres); Woodside, former home of long-serving Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King is a National Historic Site of Canada.


How to get there: Air Canada flies to London International Airport, from Toronto Pearson Airport, from where there are wide North American and other connections. Car rental is available at London International Airport. VIA Rail serves Woodstock, connecting with Windsor and Toronto, and other cities. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

Map location of Woodstock, Ontario
Map location of Woodstock, Ontario | Source

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