Courthouse History
A Castle on Main Street
This two-story, brick building has been described as an unusual example of the eclectic and romantic nature of nineteenth century architecture. Italianate, Medieval, and late Victorian elements combine unexpectedly and produce a castle-like building unique among North Carolina’s courthouses.

The Italianate influence is found in the use of segmental arched windows with brick surrounds and in the three-story square entry tower which projects slightly from the center of the front elevation. Pilasters separate the windows on the side elevations.

The first-floor foyer narrows into a hall flanked by rooms that were used as offices. This hall runs the length of the building. Two walk-in vaults accessed from offices on either side are said to have higher fire ratings than many in newer buildings.

Twin curved stairs with shaped, black walnut rails, turned balusters, and heavy newel rise from each side of the foyer to small landings that open into the large courtroom.

The Italianate judge’s bench, set on a raised platform, has applied sawnwork, lattice moldings, and heavy brackets. A door at the rear of the alcove behind the bench leads to a robing room, while doors flanking it open into a small jury room and judge's chamber.
Friends of the Old Martin County Courthouse
P.O. Box 502  |  East Main Street  |  Williamston, NC 27892  |  252-792-5243
 

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