A Small Book Shop with a Big Story

A new book store and coffee stop on Campbell Town’s main street has its own grand story to tell.

The plans for the former public offices and courthouse were originally frowned upon by the local community. An article in the Examiner in  May 1903 reported that “much dissatisfaction has been expressed at a wooden building having been decided upon by Government”.

Today, owner Michael Roach is receiving praise from locals for his hard work to revive the building.

“It’s nice to have members of the community congratulate me on how much better the building looks,” said Mr Roach.

There is a lot that Mr Roach can be proud of in this restoration project, all of which was completed with a certificate of exemption from the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

The exterior and interiors have all received a new coat of paint; gutters and downpipes have been replaced; and leaking skylights repaired.

Removing the modern acoustic ceiling tiles in the main courtroom is a particular point of pride for Mr Roach.

“We knew that the original ceiling remained under the false ceiling, but weren’t sure what state it was in. It wasn’t until we pushed aside the tiles and looked inside that we knew the original woodwork needed to be revealed.”


Michael has also ensured that the original judges bench, witness and defendant boxes, and cedar courtroom table continue to stamp their dominance for all who visit the shop.


By the time the courthouse was opened to the public in August of 1903, the previous community perceptions had changed, and the sentiment reported in the Examiner still rings true today: “The buildings present a very neat appearance and are a welcome addition to the main street.”

For those wanting to delve further into Tasmania’s history, the shop has plenty of Tasmanian history books. The Overflow Books and Coffee is open daily at 103 High Street, Campbell Town.

Back Home