The building was designed by architect Stanley Hudson and was erected in 1911 as the Old Court House, and is the oldest public building in the central business district. It was loop-holed during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.  It bore witness to both the South African Wars and the Bhambatha Uprising. More recently, it also served as a canteen and recruitment centre during the two World Wars and then later as a library, before being converted into Durban’s biggest history museum. It boasts two floors of exhibition space depicting aspects of the region’s early history.

Visit the Old Court House Museum, just a stone’s throw from the City Hall, where the background and development of Natal’s multi-cultural heritage converge.  The exhibitions are both conventional and exploratory while the exhibits are arranged thematically.
This is the resource centre for the Local History Museums. Should you be seeking a more in-depth perspective of Durban’s history you are invited to visit the enquiry section to view photographs and documents in the comfort of our study area. Our archives are open to learners, academics and the general public for research purposes.
It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on the 22 August 1980!
-29° 51', 31° 1' 12"