St. Mungo Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
St. Mungo Hotel
Picture needed
Town Ballarat
Street Cnr. Lydiard and Mair Streets
Closed 1887
Known dates 1862-1887
Other names Washington Hotel
Palace Hotel
Demolished 22 February 1887
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The St. Mungo Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, Victoria, <1862-1887.

Site[edit | edit source]

The St. Mungo Hotel was on the corner of Mair Street and Lydiard Street.[1] The building had original been the Washington Hotel, built by William John Emery in Main Road, and was moved to the Mair Street site.[2] The hotel was rebuilt as the Ballarat Palace Hotel in 1888.

Map ref: 37°33'34.4"S 143°51'28.6"E. -37.559563, 143.857935

Background[edit | edit source]

The hotel was named for Saint Mungo, the founder and patron saint of the city of Glasgow.

History[edit | edit source]

In June 1862 the publican Alexander Crow was in a legal dispute with a lamplighter over the way he was being paid for extinguishing the hotel's lamp:

John Dowling v Alexander Crow, 15s, work and labor done in extinguishing the lamp before the St Mungo Hotel for fifteen weeks at ls per week. The defendant said that he had paid the plaintiff 2s 6d towards the amount, and let him have a quantity of nobblers. Plaintiff admitted both, but said he was willing to pay for the nobblers so soon as he had an account furnished. Mr Clissold said that the nobblers could not be taken as a set-off. Plaintiff said he would pay for the nobblers. Order for 12s 6d and costs.[3]

In October 1864, Crow was advertising the attractions of the hotel:

DEVIL'S POOL, and all other sorts of pool, at Sandy Crow's St. Mungo, every evening.[4]

In 1869 a woman was gaoled for stealing clothes from the hotel:

Mary White was brought up, charged with having stolen a shirt, value 5s 6d. from the St Mungo hotel on the previous day. The evidence of Mrs Crow went to show that the prisoner had been about the place at the time of the theft; and Detective Hyland deposed that he had found the stolen shirt in her (prisoner's) possession. She was sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment.[5]

In 1872 there was a problem when the publican refused to serve a drunken customer:

Wilful Damage.— James Doyle was charged with having wilfully broken a glass globe, value 4s 6d, the property of Mr A. Crow, of the St. Mungo hotel, on the 2nd instant. From the evidence of the prosecutor it appeared that on having been refused drink the prisoner used very abusive language, went out of the bar, and on his return deliberately sent half a brick through the globe. He pleaded drunkenness at the time, but was fined 20s, with 5s damages, or seven days' imprisonment.[6]

In August 1882 a man broke a window of the hotel with a boomerang:

An aboriginal named William Wilson was yesterday arrested and lodged in the city watch-house on a charge of having broken a pane of glass in the St. Mungo hotel with a boomerang. It seems he went into the hotel and demanded beer, and as the request was not entertained, he took revenge with his national weapon. The boomerang is flat, some two feet long and two inches wide, and shaped as an arc of about one-third of a circle.[7]

The hotel was destroyed by fire on 22 February 1887:

FIRE AT THE ST MUNGO HOTEL. Shortly after 3 this morning the fire bells rang out an alarm, and on proceeding to the scene it was discovered that the well known hostelry the St Mungo hotel, was a mass of flames. Fortunately the efforts of the firemen were successful in confining the fire mainly to building named, although the adjacent houses were considerably scorched. We understand that all the inmates got out safely. The hotel was insured, we are informed.[8]

More details of the fire:

Fire at Ballarat. (From the Courier of the 23rd Feb.) THE fire yesterday morning (a brief report of which appeared in our town edition,) by which the St. Mungo Hotel and other adjoining buildings, were destroyed, was a destructive one indeed, the hotel being completely burned to the ground as well as the offices of Messrs. Huddart, Parker and Co., and also the storehouse of Mr. Irvine Coulter, the local agent for several Melbourne wholesale houses. The fire was discovered by Mr. Raverty, the owner of the hotel, and although the alarm was quickly given and the brigades prompt in their assistance it was soon seen that the hotels and other adjacent wooden buildings must be destroyed. However, the brigade worked like Trojans, performing feats of valor in their rescue work, while the heat from the flames was something terrible. The north wind fiercely blew the flames right across the streets, making even standing on the opposite side of the street no comfortable task. The inflammable nature of the building proved too much for the plucky firemen, who, how ever, managed to save a portion of the rear premises, together with some articles of furniture. When the buildings mentioned were burnt to the ground, the progress of the fire was arrested by the brick premises of Messrs. Roxburgh and Hewitt. Luckily the books of Mr. Coulter, and Messrs. Huddart, Parker and Co., were saved. Mr. Coulter had his stock insured for £300 in the Equitable Insurance Company, and Raverty had the hotel and offices also insured for £1000 in the Victorian Company, and the stock, &c., for £300 in the London and Lancashire Company. Messrs. Huddart, Parker, and Co. estimate their loss in stationery, furniture, &c., about £70, and they were uninsured. It is considered, how ever, that the amount of insurance will not cover the damage done. The cellar in Mr. Hewett's establishment was filled up with tons of salt, soda, ash soda,crystals, candles, &c., and all the goods were more or less destroyed by the water. It is wonderful that no more damage was done, for the north wind at the time brought the fire so near the Royal George Hotel that it was feared it could not escape destruction. Sparks of fire were flying about in all directions, landing on the roofs of houses hundreds of yards away, while some cinders fell on the balcony of Popjoy's Unicorn Hotel in Sturt street. The sight, though terrible, was a grand one, and thousands of persons awakened from their slumbers anxiously watched the progress of the flames and the manifold exertions of the firemen, fearful that the fire would cause others to spring up away altogether from the exciting scene. During the day the place was visited by large numbers of persons who thought they had a perfect right to the tins of confectionery scattered about. The St Mungo was one of Ballarat's oldest landmarks. Originally it was known as the Washington hotel, and was erected by Mr Emery, of the Washington hotel, Main Road. After wards it was purchased by Mr. Dimant, the clerk of the then Ballarat Council, and removed to the corner of Mair and Lydiard streets.
There were some rather comical incidents in connection with the disastrous fire at the St. Mungo hotel yesterday. In one hostelry near the scene of the fire the whole place was lit up by the flames, and the inmates of the establishment fancied that their own place was on fire. One gentleman could not turn the handle of his bedroom door, and, in agony, be cried out-"For God's sake open the door, or I'll be burnt alive !" In another room a worthy artist, similarly situated, was yet fearful of losing his valuable collection of artistic specimens, and he roused the house by excitedly calling for lights. In another portion of the hotel a well-known resident had a few horrible experiences. In the excitement of the moment he forgot where he was, and couldn't find his way out. The place seemed as if ablaze, and to his horror he heard what he thought was the stairs giving way. He was certain that the was doomed to a terrible death, but to his joy he discovered that it was only the terrified cook dragging all her worldly possessions down stairs. Altogether, those in the hotel had quite enough to satisfy their cravings for novelty for some time to come. It is, indeed, wonder that the hotel (the Royal George) escaped as it did, the windows of the upper storey all being cracked by the fierce heat, while sparks fell thick on the house and in the yard.[2]

William Bramwell Withers in 1888 described the building of a new structure on the site of the burnt St. Mungo Hotel.[9]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

  • December 1866, presentation to sportsman, James Cazaly.[10]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1863 'BALLARAT WEST PUBLICANS' ANNUAL LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 4, viewed 10 February, 2014,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1887 'Fire at Ballarat.', The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954), 9 March, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO NORTHERN MINER), viewed 01 Jan 2017,
  3. 1862 'DISTBICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 11 June, p. 4. , viewed 04 Jan 2017,
  4. 1864, The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 29 October, p. 3. , viewed 02 Mar 2017,
  5. 1869 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1880; 1914 - 1918), 29 December, p. 3. , viewed 04 Jan 2017,
  6. 1872 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 4 October, p. 4. , viewed 04 Jan 2017,
  7. 1882 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 25 August, p. 2. , viewed 18 Apr 2019,
  8. 1887 'FIRE AT THE ST MUNGO HOTEL', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 February, p. 2. , viewed 01 Jan 2017,
  9. 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 August, p. 4, viewed 26 October, 2015,
  10. 1866 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 December, p. 2. , viewed 09 Apr 2021,
  11. 1862 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 2, viewed 12 February, 2014,
  12. 1864 'DISTRICT PUBLICANS' LICENSING MEETING.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 July, p. 4. , viewed 10 Oct 2016,
  13. 1873 'LICENSING BENCH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 24 December, p. 4. , viewed 03 May 2018,
  14. 1875 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 22 December, p. 4. , viewed 19 Aug 2022,
  15. 1884 'MELBOURNE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 17 July, p. 3. , viewed 04 Jan 2017,
  16. 1882 'ALARM OF FIRE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 3. , viewed 04 Jan 2017,
  17. 1882 'CITY LICENSING COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 December, p. 4. , viewed 29 Jan 2018,

External Links[edit | edit source]