Royal Exchange Hotel (Buninyong)

From Hotels of Ballarat
For other hotels with the same or similar names, see Royal Exchange Hotel.
Royal Exchange Hotel
Picture needed
Town Buninyong
Street Learmonth Street
Closed 31 December 1907
Known dates 1856-1907

The Royal Exchange Hotel was a hotel in Buninyong, Victoria, <1856-1907.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was in Learmonth Street, Buninyong.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

At times, it seems the name may have been shortened to the Exchange Hotel.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

In December 1856, the publican, Mr. Skinner, had a booth at the Buninyong Races:

In the shape of amusements there was attached to Mr Skinner's booth a tent where several professionals in the noble art of self defence delighted the pugilistic portion of Her Majesty's subjects by showing off their capabilities in punching one another's heads.[3]

In January 1861 the hotel was offered for lease:

TO LET, in the Township of Buninyong, an Hotel, known as the Royal Exchange, with a large brick building attached, known as the Odd Fellows' Hall, suitable for theatrical purposes, concerts, or public meetings, &c., - with immediate possession, Coming in merely nominal. For particulars apply on the premises.[4]

In 1880, three men were refused service at 1.00am on a Sunday morning. They then set about to try and demolish the hotel:

EXTRAORDINARY FREAK. (FROM THE BALLARAT COURIER, MAY 24.) A most extraordinary outrage occurred at Buninyong between 1 and 2 o'clock on Sunday morning. It would seem that the perpetrators of the outrage first went to the shop of Mr. Rhys Thomas, a blacksmith, and took one of the drays standing there, and ran it into a waterhole some considerable distance off, and then left. Another dray was then taken to the Exchange Hotel, where the party, after their horse-labour, endeavoured to arouse the landlady by asking for refreshments. This not being complied with, the party set to work in earnest, and commenced to demolish all and everything within their reach. Above the hotel were some dozen vehicles—some on wheels, others having but one, and a good many without wheels. All these were removed, and placed in front of the door, and on the top of these eight iron ploughs, some harrows, and scarrifiers, topped up with a couple of wheelbarrows and a heavy field roller weighing six or seven hundred weight, were heaped. A dozen old wheels, old tires and other debris completed the pile. This not being sufficient sport, the party proceeded to higher game, by erecting a battering ram on the east side of the adjoining building once known as the Oddfellows Hall. The structure is of brick, 40ft. long, 20ft. broad, and with walls 14ft. high. The ram being set in motion made a breach 20ft. broad at the top, tapering to the bottom to 4ft, which as it fell, brought down the chimney stack, which stood 20ft. above the building. The party next proceeded to pull down the chimney of the hotel, but not being able apparently to bring their apparatus into action for want of sufficient space the operation had to be accomplished by hand-labour. Mounting on the top of the hotel, a couple of feet of the flue was removed, and the bricks pitched on to the roof of the hotel, where they thundered and rolled, to the terror and consternation of the inmates. When the party had proceeded so far, they either from sheer exhaustion, or else deeming the destruction too much like work. loft off. There were but three persons in the hotel at the time— Mrs. George, the landlady, who had been for the last few days confined to her bed through illness ; her daughter, a young lady of 16 years of age ; and the son, a lad 10 years of age. This boy, at the commencement, had the temerity to rush out to the assailants for tho purpose of identification, when he was assailed with a shower of missiles in the shape of stones and mud. Doubtless the public will be astonished that such an occurrence could take place m any civilised town. The answer is that the hotel in question is a considerable distance from any dwelling, with the exception of the Court-house Hotel on the opposite side of the street. The police also cease duty at 12 o'clock, and the police-camp is situated in the most inconvenient spot that could possibly be selected for overlooking the town.[2]

In December 1889 the news reported:

It is rumored that the Royal Exchange hotel Buninyong, has changed hands, Mr Smith, known as Sailor Smith, having purchased it from Mr G. Davis.[5]

The hotel voluntarily surrendered the license at a hearing of the Licensing Court in December 1907, to be canceled on 31 December 1907[6]:

Licensing Inspector Balchin deposed that the Royal Exchange Hotel was in the licensing district of Buninyong. It was an old hotel, in poor repair, was kept clean, was fairly well furnished and was well conducted. The annual assessment of the hotel for 1907-8 was £40 and it had been the same for some years. The Chairman — How far is this house from other hotels? Witness— It is 35 yards from the Railway Hotel, 600 yards from the Buninyong Hotel, 650 yards from the Eagle Hotel, 700 yards from the Princess Royal Hotel, and 1000 yards from the Caledonia Hotel. Is the Royal Exchange Hotel necessary for public convenience? In my opinion this house can be closed with out any inconvenience whatever. In your opinion, if the Royal Exchange is closed where would the benefit go ? We have as a board to assess the amount lost by closing a house amongst those likely to benefit. - The Railway Hotel being so near, I think it would benefit most. Do you. think it would take half the trade? - Yes, about that. And where would the balance of the trade go? It would be equally divided amongst the other four hotels. What is the statuary number of hotels in the Buninyong licensing district?—Eleven, and the existing number is 25. What do you think the Royal Exchange is worth as a licensed house?— Taking into consideration the number of hotels in Buninyong, I should say about 15s per week. Supposing the house is deprived of its license, and the owner remains there, what do you think it is worth to him to live in?- From 5s to 6s per week. Mr Pearson—Your estimate of 15s per week for the house, with a license is only a guess, isn’t it? Witness —Yes.
James Jordan, town clerk of Buninyong, said that the Royal Exchange rental would be worth from 15s to £1 per week. As a private house it would be worth about 5s per week to the owner. If he did not live in it himself he would find it extremely hard to get a tenant for it.- The building was an old one, and not in very good repair. There was an acre of land attached to it, and this land might fetch from £25 to £30. Three years ago witness offered £400 for the hotel, but it was refused. Things were then very much brisker at Buninyong. William Albert Drew, land agent, auctioneer, and hotel broker, said he had made a special inspection of the Royal Exchange Hotel tor the purpose of giving evidence before the board. He thought the true value of the hotel as a going concern was £325. Three years ago it would be worth more than this sum. The licensee of the hotel was too deaf and too old to be carrying on the business. Witness considered that the value of the property without a license was about £100. It would not bring any more. With a license the house would be worth about 17s 6d per week. He did not think the house would let without a license. A similarly suitable place could be obtained for 5s per week.[7]

The owner was paid £200 compensation and the licensee received £10.[8]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

The hotel was the venue for inquests, community and company meetings:

Inquests[edit | edit source]

  • In June 1867, an inquest into the death of Mary Manton, found to have been murdered by her husband George Manton.[9]

Mining[edit | edit source]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1883 'BUNINYONG ANNUAL LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 3, viewed 23 September, 2015,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1880 'EXTRAORDINARY FREAK.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 25 May, p. 7, viewed 26 October, 2015,
  3. 3.0 3.1 1856 'BUNINYONG RACES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 31 December, p. 2. , viewed 01 May 2018,
  4. 1861 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 January, p. 4. , viewed 18 Dec 2018,
  5. 5.0 5.1 1889 'BUNINYONG.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 12 December, p. 4. , viewed 01 May 2018,
  6. 1907 'LICENCES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 10 December, p. 10. , viewed 07 May 2018,
  7. 7.0 7.1 1907 'LICENSES REDUCTION BOARD.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 10 December, p. 4. , viewed 09 Jun 2018,
  8. 1907 'LICENCES DEDUCTION BOARD.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 11 December, p. 6. , viewed 19 Feb 2024,
  9. 9.0 9.1 1867 'THE BUNINYONG TRAGEDY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 June, p. 2. , viewed 01 May 2018,
  10. 1864 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 25 October, p. 3. , viewed 05 Oct 2018,
  11. 1861 'LICENSED VICTUALLERS' ASSOCIATION.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 April, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.), viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  12. 1876 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 4. , viewed 09 May 2024,
  13. 1877 'BUNINYONG LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4, viewed 6 October, 2015,
  14. 1878 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 November, p. 4, viewed 6 October, 2015,
  15. 1878 'BUNINYONG.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 December, p. 4. , viewed 22 Jan 2019,
  16. Wise's Post Office Directory, 1888, Australia, City Directories, 1845-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

External Links[edit | edit source]