The building was originally Singleton's first "lock up" built on the site in 1840. By 1841 a detached Court House was built 50 ft to the west and donated by Benjamin Singleton to the government in return for Minimbah buildings. In April 1862 two stone cells were built on the western side of the slab cells being 8ft x 11ft with wooden floors, to hold five prisoners each having a centre corridor between.

In 1874 the slab cells were demolished and two stone cells built of similar size with concrete floors and a hallway built along the west side of the cell block. All were of stone with walls extending 4 ft below the floor level. A brick gaoler's residence & guard room were built onto the west side of the hallway consisting of a 16ft x 14ft room at each end with a 19 ft x 14ft guard room in the centre.

In 1899 the Municipal Council was given the buildings, after a new town lockup and residence had been built. The old gaoler's residence was removed and the southern partition removed making a Council Chamber 36ft x 14ft and a 16ft x 14ft room at the northern end retained for the Town Clerk's Office.

In 1963 the Singleton Historical Society were given the use of the building. The museum contents featuring the Aboriginal, Convict, Pioneer and Rural articles of our Heritage have been mostly collected locally and donated by the residents of our Shire.


The inaugural meeting was held on 15 November 1960 on the initiative of Mr. E.W. Robinson. The President of the Patrick Plains Shire Council, Cr. A.C. Marshall moved that a branch of the Historical Society be formed in Singleton and the Municipal Mayor, Mr. A.J. Dorsman accepted the position of President.

In 1963 the Society was granted the use of the former Council Chambers (originally the Lock-up Keeper's residence).

The Museum's commencement was to co-incide with the Railway Centenary in 1963. In 1968 the museum was extended to include the cell block section.

The Rural Section was added and opened in 1977. It is dedicated as the O'Hara Section.

The Records Room was also added and is now dedicated to the late Mr. E.W Robinson.

In 2011 our Rural Farm Machinery Museum was opened at Singleton Show Ground & is dedicated as the Bob Moore Rural Section.