Nelson County

US States / H-L / Kentucky / Nelson County

Nelson County is named for Thomas Nelson, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and who lived from 1738 to 1789.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Bullitt County and Spencer County

E – Anderson CountyWashington County and Marion County

S – Larue County

W – Larue County, Hardin County and Bullitt County


Created:  October 18, 1784                    Map of Kentucky highlighting Nelson County

County Seat: 

Bardstown  1784 – present


County Courthouse – Bardstown  


Location:  Courthouse Square / North 3rd Street

Built:  1891 – 1892

Style:  Richardsonian Romanesque

Architect:   Mason Maury and William J Todd

Contractor:  Edward Baker Smith


Description:  The building faces north and is a three story dark red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Bardstown. On the north front, the central square tower rises four stories and has a mansard roof. A wide curved stone arch frames the entrance and above the entrance are a set of windows close together and framed with white colored stone. White colored stone decorates the central tower. There is a peaked roofs on either side of the central tower. The base of the building is white colored course stone and the roof is hipped. To the west is the old County Jail built in 1874.


See:  The architect, Mason Maury, also designed the courthouse in Bullitt County and the former courthouse in Barren County.


County Justice Center – Bardstown




Location:  200 Nelson County Plaza / E Stephenson Road

Built:  2002 – 2003

Style:  Modern

Architect:  John Romanowitz of JRA, Inc.

Contractor:  F W Owens Inc.


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story dark red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds to the east of the center of Bardstown. The south front has a large portico with four columns rising to a pediment with fan-light window at the roof line.  Above the entrance is a large arched window on the second story. The roof is hipped. The building has an eastern one story extension. 


See:  The 10th Judicial Circuit includes Hart CountyLarue County and Nelson County.


History:  The county was created in 1784 and Bardstown was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a two story Georgian structure built in 1787. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1891 to 1892 at a cost of $33,000. The County Justice Center was constructed in 2002 to 2003.




County Courthouse – Bardstown 

























County Justice Center – Bardstown



















Photos taken 2007 and 2018