The site of the former Coroner's Court was associated with the judicial investigation of unexplained or sudden death from 1854 until 1971. It contains the earliest surviving purpose-built Coroner's Court in NSW, and possibly also the archaeological remains of the two earliest purpose-built morgues in NSW.
The place has a unique ability to demonstrate (through its external appearance and internal layout and fabric) the history of the Coroner's office and of Coronial inquests, and has associations with some of NSW's most notorious cases of unnatural death, including the 'Shark Arm Murder' and the Bogle-Chandler case. The former Court was also the site of the first Visitors Centre in The Rocks, the earliest public face of the Sydney Cover Redevelopment Authority.
The building is a good representative example of the Federation Free Style as practised by W L Vernon during his period as NSW Government Architect, and is substantially intact both internally and externally