School of Parliamentary Democracy and Rule of Law in the Republic. Oldest government building in Singapore.

Parliament House (after extensive renovations) was originally built as the residence of John Argyle Maxwell a Java merchant and was bought over by the Government to establish the Court House.

Maxwell had served in the Home Guards and later came to Singapore from Java to become one of the three magistrates in the Settlement of Singapore. He commissioned G.D. Colemen to design a two-storey house in 1826 which was completed in June 1827.

Maxwell was granted a lease of 999 years but he never occupied the house; he rented it out to the government at 500 rupees per month.

The Courts ere held in the side rooms became the office of the Resident Councillor. The ground floor was used by the Land Office.

A central tower which still stands was perhaps used as a lookout tower for ships in the outer roads. An announcement was presumably made from there and the early residents lined the Singapore River to receive the new visitor and also details of their cargo in the vessels.

An addition of a single storey building was made in 1839 and this became the new Court House which opened in October 1839.

Later in September 1841 Thomas Church, the Resident Councillor purchased the buildings on behalf of the Government.

In 1854 the building was found unsuitable as a Court largely because of the noise from the adjacent Stephen Hallpike's shipbuilding yard.

Extensions to the Court House were made in 1875, 1901 and 1909. Alterations were also made to the architecture of the buildings. The buildings were transformed from the Palladian style to Victorian architecture.

The buildings served as the Supreme Court until 1939 when the new Supreme Court on the site of the former Hotel de L'Europe was completed.

The Old Court House became semi-derelict and after World War II it became the first ofice of the Public Relation Office, Colony of Singapore.

In 1954 alterations and renovations were made to convert the building into the Assembly House (the legislature) which was officially opened by the Governor Sir John Nicoll on 7 July 1954. Today it is Singapore's Parliament House - the symbol of parliamentary democracy, the Rule of Law of the Republic of Singapore.

Parliament House is the oldest government building in Singapore.