John o'Groat Hotel

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John o'Groat Hotel
John o'Groats.png
Ruins of John o'Groat Hotel
Town Ballarat
Street Main Road
Known dates 1855-1883
Evidence Building demolished
Google maps -37.5667074,143.8662002

The John o'Groat Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1855-1883>.


In 1859 it was situated in Main Road, Ballarat East.[1] An Heritage Victoria listing gives the current address as 138 Main Road, Ballarat east.[2] Google Reference -37.5667074,143.8662002 This site is now open parkland in the Len Fraser Reserve.


The Victorian Heritage Database records the hotel as being built 1857[2], but there are newspaper reports mentioning a hotel on the site in June 1855.[3] It is probably named for the Scottish village John O'Groats which is the most northerly village in Scotland. It was named for John of Groat, or Groot, and his brothers, originally from Holland, said to have settled there about 1489.


In June 1855 there were reports of mines near the hotel being flooded:

In consequence of the heavy rains during the end of last week and the beginning of this, most of the claims behind the John O'Groat Hotel, though formerly remarkably dry, became flooded. In one or two instances the water was standing as high as seventy feet in the shafts. There is some low ground in this neighborhood which is covered to a considerable depth with water, rendering general communication, and the earlier steps of sinking somewhat dangerous as well as disagreeable.[3]

In December 1856 the publican was granted a license for a booth at the racecourse:

Alexander Stewart of the John o'Groat Hotel, Main-road, made application through Mr Trench for an extension of his license during the races to booth No 5, on the Race Course, Granted.[4]

In 1860 a flood swept through Main road and the cellars of the John O'Groat Hotel were flooded.[5]

In June 1861 the furnishings of the hotel were offered for sale:

JOHN O'GROAT HOTEL. To Parties in Search of a good Hotel, Furnished, and doing a first-rate trade. CHAS. DYTE has received instructions to sell by private treaty, The Furniture, Stock, &c, belonging to the JOHN O'GROAT HOTEL, Main road.; -the lease of the present proprietor, Mr M'lvor, having expired, and the sole-cause of his leaving the hotel being his intention of devoting his time to Agricultural Pursuits. Every facility will be given to an incoming tenant, and to an enterprising and persevering man, a sure fortune will be realised. Farther particulars may be obtained of Mr M'lvor at the Hotel, or of CHAS. DYTE, - Auctioneer,. Main road.[6]

In September 1864, the new publican, John Casey, announced that he had reopened the hotel's skittle hall.[7]

Community Involvement[edit]

The People[edit]

  • In December 1856 the publican, Alexander Stewart, was granted a license extension.[4]
  • In June 1857 Michael Bryson applied for the publican's license, but he failed to appear at the court.[9]
  • In July 1858 the publican, John Hamilton Reed was granted a night license.[10]
  • In December 1858 the publican was John McIvor. He was fined 10s for having an unlicensed bagatelle table.[11] he was granted the license again in June 1861.[12]
  • In July 1861 the licensee was William Irwin.[13]
  • In September 1864 the publican was John Casey.[7]
  • In December 1873 the publican was George Dibdin.[14] In December 1874, Dibdin's application for renewal was adjourned for a fortnight after the police objected on the grounds that the hotel was in a dilapidated condition.[15]
  • In August 1883 the license was transferred from Robert Anderson to Henry Sheward.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. Ballarat Star, 26 January 1859.
  2. 2.0 2.1, accessed 03/02/2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 1855 'BALLARAT.', Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), 8 June, p. 4. , viewed 21 Jul 2018,
  4. 4.0 4.1 1856 'POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 6 December, p. 3. , viewed 25 Nov 2018,
  5. Ballarat Star, 11 December 1860
  6. 1861 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 7 June, p. 3. , viewed 03 Jun 2017,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 23 September, p. 3. , viewed 26 Mar 2017,
  8. Ballarat Star, 26 January 1859.
  9. 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 12 Aug 2017,
  10. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 July, p. 2. , viewed 02 Nov 2017,
  11. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 December, p. 4, viewed 25 October, 2014,
  12. 1861 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 01 Jun 2018,
  13. Ballarat Star, 25 July 1861.
  14. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 2. , viewed 27 Apr 2017,
  15. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jan 2018,
  16. 1883 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 August, p. 4. , viewed 29 Dec 2016,

External Links[edit]