North Grant Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
North Grant Hotel
Ballarat Genealogical Society
Town Ballarat
Street Cnr. Bridge Street and Peel Street
Opened 1857
Known dates 1857-1934
Other names Centenary Hotel
Ballarat Hotel
Bridge Mall Inn
Tubbie's Bar
Evidence Building still standing

The North Grant Hotel was in Ballarat, Victoria, 1857-1934.

Site[edit | edit source]

The North Grant Hotel was in Bridge Street, Ballarat, [1] on the south east corner with Peel Street. This is now 92 Bridge Street.

Background[edit | edit source]

This hotel had several name changes[2]

The North Grant Hotel was originally a wooden building erected in the 1850's.[2] This building was burned down on 26 March 1893.[2] A new three storey building (existing) was built by Charles Octavius Straker.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

On 13 February 1857 the hotel was announcing it had opened for business:

THE NORTH GRANT FAMILY HOTEL, MAIN ROAD, NEARLY OPPOSITE THE COLONIAL BANK OF AUSTRALASIA. SMITH AND DIGGINS HAVE much pleasure in announcing to their numerous friends and the public in general, that they have finished the erection of the North Grant Hotel, and have fitted it up in a style of elegance, combining comfort with convenience. The great want of an Hotel which would meet the requirements of visitors from Melbourne, Geelong, and the surrounding districts, which must have been long severely felt on Ballarat East, has induced the proprietors of the North Grant Hotel to supply the deficiency. The house comprises, on the ground floor, a spacious Bar, large and COMMODIOUS PARLOR AND PRIVATE ROOMS. On the upper story, a number of light and airy bedrooms, furnished with every comfort, and replete with every convenience. A spacious and elegantly furnished Drawing-room, well adapted for public services and other entertainments. Servants have been engaged, possessing experience and ability, combined with that great requisite-civility. Every attention will there-fore be paid to those who may honor them with their patronage. THE WINES, SPIRITS, AND BEERS will be found of a very superior quality, and upon the supply of these articles D. and S. depend for that encouragement their earnest endeavors to please will merit. The house is now open, and the proprietors invite the public of Ballarat: to test the proof of their assertions.[3]

On 27 February 1857 the hotel announced that it had opened a restaurant:

The North Grant Restaurant. SMITH & DIGGINS have much pleasure in announcing to their numerous customers and the public of Ballarat that, in accordance with the wishes of their friends, they have added to their HOTEL Accommodation the convenience to be afforded by the establishment of a RESTAURANT, Which will furnish the best table of viands to be had on Ballarat. Breakfast will be prepared from 8 till 10 a.m., Dinner from 1 till 3 p.m. and Tea from 6 p.m.. The charges will be very moderate, and the food of the best description.[4]

Two photographs were of the English cricket team were acquired by the hotel in January 1862:

Mr Thomas Diggins, of the North Grant Hotel, has just received from Hill of Melbourne, two beautifully executed photographs of the All England Eleven, in costume, on the Metropolitan Cricket Ground. Messers Spiers and Pond, with Mr Mallam, their agent, also contribute to the formation of the group. The photograph is of large size, and the likenesses are admirable. The distance consists of the grand stand filled with spectators, and the foliage of Richmond Park. These objects, with the foreground, have been skillfully introduced by the aid of pen and sepia-ink.[5]

In June 1864, Diggins advertised his intention to apply for a renewal of his license:

TO the Bench of Magistrates at Ballarat East.-I, THOMAS DIGGINS, Licensed Publican, now residing at Ballarat East, in the borough of Ballarat East, do hereby give notice, that it is my intention to apply to the justices sitting at the Court of Petty Sessions, to be holden at Ballarat East on the 1st of July, 1864, for a Certificate authorising the issue of a Publican's license for a house situated in Bridge street, containing four sitting rooms, nine bedrooms, billiard room, &c., at present occupied and licensed under the sign of the North Grant Hotel. Dated at Ballarat, 15th June, 1864. THOMAS DIGGINS.[6]

In October 1869 the building was damaged in a big flood:

At the North Grant hotel the water was above the bar counter, and over the top of an excellent billiard table. Looking at the lower rooms a very large amount of damage seemed to have been the result of the flood, and we were told that a considerable stock of spirits was floating about in the cellar. The loss here was estimated at £1000, but may not mount up to quite so much.[7]

In March 1873 the publican was charged with breaches of the licensing laws:

Police v Harwood, landlord of the North Grant hotel, for allowing drunken persons to remain on his premises at two o’clock oh Saturday morning. The defendant said he had witnesses to show that two of the persons were lodgers from the country, and there was a woman who was drunk, but refused to leave the hotel. Case adjourned till Monday..[8]

Advertisement , October 14 1873

In October 1873 the publican, Anne Adams, advertised that the hotel had been renovated:

NORTH GRANT HOTEL, BRIDGE STREET BALLARAT MRS ROBERT ADAMS HAVING taken the above hotel, is desirous of informing the inhabitants of Ballarat and surrounding districts that she has had it thoroughly renovated. and fitted with every convenience for the comfort of those who may honor her with their patronage. As a COMMERCIAL HOTEL, The above will be found very convenient, being within a few minutes walk of the Railway Station, Post Office, and all other places of commercial interest. N.B. — This hotel , is completely furnished for the convenience of private families. BILLIARD ROOM. Coaches leave twice a day for Durham, Gordon, and Egerton. GOOD STABLING.[9]

In December 1878 Bird Speed's application for a renewal of the license was opposed by the police on the grounds that building was not in good repair.. The case was adjourned for two weeks to allow for repairs to be made.[10]

In February 1882 the hotel provided entertainment by having a brass band play from the balcony:

Prout’s band performed last evening in the balcony of Mr Bird Speed’s North Grant hotel. There was a: large attendance of the public, and a varied and choice programme was gone through. The following was the programme; Grand march, “ Festival” (R. Smith); valse, “ Brunette” (E, Leconte); fantasia, “On guard” (L. Bousquier); quadrille, “ Autumn” (Arnaud); waltz, “ The wayward beauty” (R. Smith); quick march, “The busy Welshman" (T. Wright); glee, “Fill the shining goblet” (Barry); gallop, “Flossie" (R. Smith;; "God save the Queen.”[11]

Having a large crowd in the street did cause an unfortunate accident:

Benjamin Jonas, aged 11 years, son of Mr Jonas, of the Earl of Zetland hotel, Bridge street, met with a somewhat singular accident last night. The boy was listening to the music discoursed by Prout's band, at the North Grant hotel, and was walking along the pavement, when he accidentally trod on a lady’s “ train.” The fatal step had the effect of capsizing the boy, and he fell heavily to the ground, breaking one of bis arms between the wrist and the elbow. Mr Jonas at once despatched a messenger for Dr Hudson, the family physician, but that gentleman was out of town at the time. As the case would not admit of delay, the unfortunate lad was conveyed to the Hospital, where the injured arm was set by Dr Owen, and the boy subsequently returned borne.[11]

In 1888 the Licensing Court held hearings into 72 Ballarat East hotels, however this hotel was recommended to be kept.[12]

In June 1891 the hotel's owner announced the old hotel would be removed and a new one built. This did not take place, but the old hotel burnt down in 1893, and Straker built the new three story building which is still standing (2017):

We are informed that the owner, Mr Joseph Phillips, will shortly sell for removal the North Grant hotel, corner of Bridge and Peel streets, and erect on the site a substantial two-story brick and stone building.[13]

In June 1891 the publican was charged with breaching liquor laws:

Considerable interest was taken in a case against Mortimer Cremin, licensee of the North Grant Hotel, Bridge street, which was heard at the town police court today. The charge was one of supplying liquor to persons under the influence of drink, and was laid by Mrs Bessie Lee, a lady temperance advocate, and Mr. J. V. Gates, a prominent member of the local option party. The main points in the evidence for the prosecution were that the lady and gentleman referred to had, on the night of 13th June, visited a number of public houses, and in the North Grant had seen the barmaid serve three young men, two of whom were drunk, one being unable to stand, and the three making use of very bad language. These statements were denied by witnesses for the defence, including the barmaid, but one of the young men referred to admitted having had "six or seven" drinks that evening. The evidence was contradictory, and the Bench dismissed the case, Mr. Cooper, P. M., stating that he would not allow costs, as the case was one of "not proven".[14]

In December 1926 and application to transfer the license was refused:

The transfer of the licence of the North Grant Hotel, Ballarat East, from George Raybould to Irene Raybould was opposed on the ground that it would not be genuine, inasmuch as the new licensee would be under the control of her husband, who now holds the licence His application was withdrawn.[15]

In November 1928 the publican was fined:

George Raybould, North Grant Hotel, persons found on premises during prohibited hours on 3rd November; fined £3. Two men were each fined £1.[16]

In December 1932, the publican Patrick Sheedy, shot the barmaid and the manager in argument about the hotel takings. Winifred Brooks was killed and Henry Lloyd lost his eye. Sheedy was charged, found guilty and later executed.[2]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Mining[edit | edit source]

Politics[edit | edit source]

  • In December 1865 a meeting at the hotel called for Mr. Humffray to be a candidate at the state election.[18]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Licencing Court for Publicans," The Star, Thursday 19 June 1862, pg. 4,, (accessed January 19, 2014)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Former Centenary Hotel, Ballarat Buildings, Buildings and Architecture in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia,, accessed 19 January 2015.
  3. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 February, p. 1. , viewed 08 May 2019,
  4. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 February, p. 4. , viewed 11 Apr 2018,
  5. 1862 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 January, p. 2. , viewed 29 Dec 2020,
  6. 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 22 June, p. 4. , viewed 18 Apr 2021,
  7. 1869 'DAMAGE BY THE FLOOD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 October, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE BALLARAT STAR), viewed 02 May 2019,
  8. 8.0 8.1 1873 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 March, p. 3. , viewed 08 Nov 2018,
  9. 1873 'Advertising', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 14 October, p. 1. , viewed 18 Mar 2017,
  10. 1878 'TOWN LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 December, p. 4. , viewed 21 Jan 2019,
  11. 11.0 11.1 1882 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 11 February, p. 2. , viewed 17 Jul 2016,
  12. 1888 'THE BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 30 June, p. 14. , viewed 26 Feb 2017,
  13. 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 3 June, p. 2. , viewed 26 Apr 2017,
  14. 14.0 14.1 1891 'BALLARAT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 26 June, p. 7. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  15. 1926 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 4 December, p. 29. , viewed 14 Feb 2020,
  16. 1928 'PROVINCIAL CITIES AND TOWNS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 23 November, p. 14. , viewed 22 Mar 2021,
  17. 1884 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 September, p. 4. , viewed 10 Feb 2017,
  18. 1865 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 23 Sep 2018,
  19. 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 13 Aug 2017,
  20. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 16 June, p. 2. , viewed 01 Dec 2019,
  21. 1858 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 15 July, p. 2. , viewed 02 Nov 2017,
  22. 1859 'AFTERNOON SITTINGS.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 June, p. 3. , viewed 29 Aug 2019,
  23. 1860 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 June, p. 4. , viewed 21 Dec 2018,
  24. 1861 'DISTRICT LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 20 Aug 2017,
  25. 1861 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 20 June, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 15 Apr 2021,
  26. 1864 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 4. , viewed 23 Apr 2021,
  27. 1865 'Advertising.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1870; 1914 - 1918), 25 August, p. 3, viewed 13 March, 2014,
  28. 1870 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 5 August, p. 4. , viewed 16 Aug 2019,
  29. 1872 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 May, p. 4. , viewed 19 Dec 2019,
  30. 1873 'BALLARAT EAST QUARTERLY LICENSING MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 September, p. 2. , viewed 22 Jul 2016,
  31. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 2, viewed 11 September, 2015,
  32. 1878 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 31 January, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jul 2016,
  33. 1883 'BALLARAT.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 10 August, p. 3. , viewed 16 Jul 2016,
  34. 1883 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 December, p. 4. , viewed 16 Jul 2016,
  35. 1889 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 26 October, p. 2. , viewed 02 Apr 2017,
  36. 1893 'Family Notices', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 October, p. 4. , viewed 30 Jul 2017,
  37. 1894 'BALLARAT LICENSING COURT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 15 March, p. 6. , viewed 31 Jul 2017,
  38. 1901 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 May, p. 2. , viewed 03 Feb 2023,
  39. 1916 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 2 March, p. 9. , viewed 02 Aug 2017,
  40. 1926 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 4 December, p. 29. , viewed 14 Feb 2020,
  41. 1929 'PROVINCIAL CITIES AND TOWNS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 29 November, p. 16, viewed 8 October, 2015,
  42. 1930 'LICENCES TRANSFERRED.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 27 May, p. 6, viewed 3 February, 2014,
  43. 1934 'HOTEL SALES', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 15 October, p. 3. , viewed 30 Jan 2022,

External Links[edit | edit source]