Red Lion Hotel (Drummond Street)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other Red Lion Hotels, see Red Lion Hotel.
Red Lion Hotel and Red Lion Brewery
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Drummond Street
Known dates 1856-1864
Google maps -37.562421, 143.860846

The Red Lion Hotel was a hotel and brewery in Ballarat, Victoria, <1856-1864>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The Red Lion Hotel was on the south west corner of Drummond Street North and Webster Street, Ballarat.[1]. Google Maps link:-37.562421, 143.860846 It is shown on the 1861 Ballarat Goldfields map.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

W. B. Withers mentioned the hotel in the newspaper in 1888:

The house was built for Robert Holmes, for whom about the same time (1856) was built the bluestone premises at the south-west corner of Drummond and Webster streets, known for years as the Red Lion hotel and brewery. In the bush at the rear Dr Allison presided at the first Caledonian games held here. F. W. Niven has a private residence now where the hotel and brewery once were, and other homes, more or less costly and luxurious occupy the site where the little Scotch doctor mounted the stump at the Highlanders’ festival.[3]

Withers described the brewery in 1889:

Mather’s, Ballarat or Red Lion brewery was opened at the south-west corner of Drummond and Webster streets. It afterwards became Farrington and Ellis', and the actual corner of the site was occupied as the Red Lion hotel. The Red Lion betokened the Scottish origin of the adventure, and that and the holding of the first Caledonian games in the adjoining bush—where costly villas now adorn the ground—were in some sort correlated facts.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

In August 1856 the hotel was the venue for a meeting:

Notice to Dairymen and Cattle Dealers. A PUBLIC MEETING will be held at the Red Lion Hotel, near the Swamp, on Saturday, the 16th inst, at two o'clock p.m., to take into consideration the conduct of Messrs. Waldie and Winter, in regard to impounding cattle within a short distance of Ballarat. Also, to sign memorial to the Government, praying that licenses may be granted for dairy purposes. J. B. HUMFFRAY, ESQ., M.L.C., In the Chair.[5]

In December 1856 the publican, Samuel Williams, had a booth at the Ballarat races.[6]

The property was offered for sale in September 1858:

FRIDAY, 10th SEPTEMBER. To Capitalists, Speculators and Others, Desirous of investing their money to the very best advantage. J. S. CARVER has been instructed by Mr R. Holmes, to sell by public auction, at the Red Lion Hotel, on Friday, 10th Sept., at twelve o'clock, The Red Lion Hotel, Situated at the corner of Webster and Drummond streets, on an allotment of land having a frontage to Webster street of 250 feet, and a frontage to Drummond street of 71 feet 6 in., being a corner allotment, well situated for an extensive trade. This well built STONE and BRICK Hotel is now doing an excellent business, and is let to the present tenant for two years, at £350 per annum. The Hotel contains a large bar, two bar parlors, and one private parlor, a concert or ball-room, nine bed-rooms, kitchen, three store-rooms, and an excellent stable, and has the advantage of being built principally of stone and brick. The auctioneer, in calling attention to this sale, would remark, that Mr Holmes is only induced to sell, from the fact of his having engaged in speculations where his money could be more advantageously employed, and in disposing of this freehold he is inclined to let it go at a price that will most satisfactorily reimburse the purchaser. The title is a Crown grant, and the terms will be liberal.[7]

The hotel was offered for sale in June 1860:

WEDNESDAY, 18TH JUNE. To Speculators and Others. For Sale, Red Lion Hotel, and Four Building Allotments. J. S. CARVER has been favored with instructions to sell by auction, on the premises, on Wednesday, 13th June, at twelve o'clock, The following valuable properties, situated at the comer of Webster and Drummond streets : Lots 1, 2, and 3 have each a frontage to Webster street of 60 feet by a depth of 147 feet, very suitable for private residences. Lot 4, having 79 feet frontage to Drummond street by a depth of 150 feet, upon which two wooden cottages are erected, also a butcher's shop. Lot 5 has a frontage of 68 feet to Drummond street by a depth along Webster street of 150 feet, and on which is erected the Red Lion Hotel, built of brick and stone, containing large bar, dining room, and eleven bed rooms, together with kitchen, stables, and other out-offices necessary for carrying on an extensive business. This property must eventually become of great value, and the auctioneer would earnestly advise parties desirous cf becoming permanently settled on Ballarat to attend the sale of the above freeholds. The terms will be declared at sale.[8]

The hotel was offered for lease in June 1860:

"TO LET - THE RED LION HOTEL, situated at the corner of Webster and Drummond streets, near the Swamp. Apply to Mr Mather, Market-square, Ballarat"[1]

Brewery[edit | edit source]

The Mathers opened the brewery by February 1861 when the workings of the new business were revealed to the press:

MATHER'S BREWERY AT BALLARAT. If anything were wanted to show the confidence of local capitalists in the future of Ballarat, the many splendid establishments that are daily being raised would furnish ample proof. Our merchants are far too shrewd to invest thousands of pounds in the erection of extensive and complete business premises, without having first well weighed the cost, and their doing so is a most satisfactory evidence of our material prosperity. Amongst the latest additions to our new business premises, is the brewery of Messrs J. & R. Mather, at the corner of Drummond and Webster-street. The proprietors of this building have long been known on Ballarat as wine and spirit merchants, and the spot chosen is adjoining the Red Lion Hotel. The exterior of the building has a substantial and finished appearance, but would fail to convey to the mind of the passer-by, the extent and completeness of the internal arrangements. On entering the building we find ourselves in a large, and conveniently planned store-room capable oi storing many hundred sacks of malt. In the centre is a malt-mill, which is fed from the floor above, and driven by steam. This machine is capable of crushing upwards of 30 bushels per hour. Proceeding upwards to the next story we come to the malt room, which communicates with the cooler. The latter is most substantially built of Oregon pine plants three inches in thickness, and is capable of holding 3000 gallons. It is the intention of the proprietors to erect iron fans to he driven by steam, but, if the day we were there is any criterion, it would appear to be a work of supererogation. Going into it, was like descending an ice-well, and a fan was one of the last things that we should have thought of, in connection with it. On the next floor is the enormous mash-tub, which is capable of holding 3300 gallons. This is fed from the top boiler, a large iron arrangement which is warmed by a constant supply of steam arising through a large iron pipe from the boiler below. On the same floor with the mash-tub is a shoot through which the grains pass into the carts without the trouble of loading. Beneath the water boiler is the wort boiler holding 1800 gallons. This is built of iron, and is double, the steam filling the space between the inner and outer case. A stop-cock is attached to the one side and a patent safety valve to the other, so that all danger of explosion is avoided. For the purpose of regulating the heat, and preventing the wort from boiling over, a cock is attached to the main pipe by which the supply of steam is regulated. Descending the stairs again, we see the immense gyles, which are capable together of holding nearly 5000 gallons. These communicate by pipes with the cellar, so that the liquor can be conveyed with ease into empty casks placed in any part of it The cellar itself is unquestionably the best on Ballarat. Its pitch is lofty, it is perfectly, and it has been fitted, like all the rest of the building, with a view to facilitate to the utmost the business of the concern. The engine is of eight-horse power, and was purchased from Messrs Jenner and Davey of this town. It appears to be a very perfect one, and the proprietors are very much pleased with its working. On the northern side of the building is fixed a large tank into which water from the Swamp can be turned in any quantity. The stream passes through a metre, and the Councils are paid for the water at the rate of 1s per 100 gallons. On a large space at the rear of their works the Messrs Mather propose erecting an extensive malting house. On the other side are the cooper's shops, and the machinery for steaming and purifying barrels. Altogether this brewery is in as complete and perfect working order as any we ever saw, even in the, old country, and it is evident that expense has not been spared in its erection. Such enterprise deserves a substantial reward, and there is but little doubt that, in this instance, the proprietors will reap a good harvest in return, for their outlay.[9]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Political[edit | edit source]

  • Municipal elections, candidates to answer questions, 9 January 1857.[10]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1860 'Advertising.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 June, p. 4, viewed 2 March, 2014,
  2. Victoria. Mines Department & Braché, J. (Jacob), 1827-1905 & Smyth, Robert Brough, 1830-1889 & Humffray, J. B & Victoria. Surveyor General's Office et al. 1861, Ballaarat gold field. No. 1, R. Brough Smyth, Secretary for Mines, [Melbourne],
  3. 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 July, p. 4. , viewed 10 Jan 2017,
  4. 1889 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 28 September, p. 2. (Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924)), viewed 25 Apr 2018,
  5. 1856 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 14 August, p. 1. , viewed 07 May 2019,
  6. 6.0 6.1 1856 'BALLARAT RACES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 17 December, p. 3. , viewed 08 May 2019,
  7. 1858 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 3 September, p. 3. , viewed 04 Mar 2021,
  8. 1860 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 8 June, p. 3. , viewed 20 Dec 2018,
  9. 1861 'MATHER'S BREWERY AT BALLARAT.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929), 11 February, p. 3. , viewed 31 Aug 2021,
  10. 1857 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 9 January, p. 4. , viewed 08 May 2019,
  11. 1857 'GENERAL ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 13 June, p. 2. , viewed 13 Aug 2017,
  12. 1857 'LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 June, p. 3. , viewed 25 Dec 2018,
  13. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 3 July, p. 2. , viewed 17 May 2023,
  14. 1859 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 20 August, p. 2. , viewed 06 Jun 2017,
  15. 1864 'DISTRICT PUBLICANS' LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 4. , viewed 10 Oct 2016,

External Links[edit | edit source]