Golden Fleece Hotel (Lydiard Street)

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For other Golden Fleece Hotels, see Golden Fleece Hotel.
Golden Fleece Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Lydiard Street
Opened 1854
Known dates 1854-1859

The Golden Fleece Hotel was in Ballarat, Victoria, 1854-1859>

Site[edit | edit source]

The Golden Fleece Hotel was in Lydiard Street, Ballarat. The site was later occupied by the English, Scottish and Australian Bank.[1] More information on the site from 1870:

...In Lydiard street where the Colonial Bank now stands, there was a building known in Stockade days, as the Arcade. It subsequently became the Golden Fleece Hotel...[2]

The old bank is now (2018) used as the offices of Baird and McGregor, and a Quality Inn.

Background[edit | edit source]

The name comes from an ancient Greek story about the golden fleece of a winged ram, that was a symbol of authority and kingship.

History[edit | edit source]

The hotel was built in 1854 which makes it among the earliest hotels in Ballarat.[1] The hotel was built by William Surplice.[1] Withers recorded in 1888 that Surplice was a surveyor. The publican, Worth was:

"...a teller in the Bank of New South Wales, who threw up the concern in disgust because of some alleged immoralities on the part of two occupants of the house. Redman, less fastidious or more hopeful, stepped into the breach, and he is eloquent to this day upon the dodges and difficulties that surrounded the license question as it concerned the fortunes of the Fleece at that time."[3]

The hotel had a theatre space, known as the Arcade Rooms. In June 1855 the Amateur Musical Society performed there:

An Amateur Musical Society has been lately organised, which promises well, as, on a late occasion, it came out very creditably, in the Golden Fleece, in conjunction with Mrs. Hanmer and her daughter, Miss Julia Hanmer. These ladies were well and deservedly received in the pieces of the 'Waterman' and the 'Maid of all Work,' being ably assisted by amateur talent, in the persons of well known literary and professional characters. The performance, it is believed, was in aid of the contribution to the patriotic fund in course of collection here at present.[4]

Also in June the hotel had "dissolving views":

Another refined and pleasing exhibition is now open to us in the form of certain dissolving views, exhibited at the Golden Fleece Hotel every night.[4]

In September 1855 the Ballarat Literary and Dramatic Society held a performance to raise funds for the Miners' Hospital.[5]

A man was robbed while sleeping in the hotel in June 1858:

ROBBERY FROM THE PERSON.- Robert Catler was brought up charged with having stolen from the person of George Philps, on the night of the 17th inst., a ring value £10, a knife, and 9s in silver coin. From the evidence of the prosecutor and another person it appeared that prosecutor had gone into the Golden Fleece Hotel on Thursday evening, and while lying asleep on a sofa the prisoner had taken the property in question from his person. The prisoner who had been "in trouble" before, was committed to take his trial at the next Circuit Court.[6]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

  • In July 1855 the hotel was the venue for a Fourth of July Dinner, attended by 150 Americans and friends.[7]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hargreaves, John. Ballarat Hotels Past and Present, pg. 2, 1943, Ballarat
  2. The Ballarat Star Sat 5 Mar 1870 page 3
  3. 3.0 3.1 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 July, p. 4. , viewed 20 May 2016,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1855 'BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 21 June, p. 4. , viewed 21 Jul 2018,
  5. 1855 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 22 September, p. 1. , viewed 26 Mar 2017,
  6. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT. Friday, 18th June.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 19 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Aug 2019,
  7. 1855 'BALLARAT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 10 July, p. 6. , viewed 30 Dec 2016,
  8. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 2. , viewed 08 Aug 2019,
  9. 1858 'Advertising.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 September, p. 3, viewed 28 December, 2015,
  10. 1859 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 28 May, p. 2, viewed 28 December, 2015,

External Links[edit | edit source]