Stirling Castle Hotel

From Hotels of Ballarat
Stirling Castle
Picture needed
Town Mount Beckwith, near Clunes
Known dates 1862-1876

The Stirling Castle Hotel was a hotel at Mount Beckwith, <1862-1876>.

Site[edit | edit source]

The hotel was at Mount Beckwith, on the Talbot Road, near Clunes[1][2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Name misspelled as "Sterling" in one report.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

In December 1862 four men had been charged with stealing brandy from a storeroom near the hotel. The magistrate dismissed the case against the men:

STEALING BRANDY.-William Hood, brought up on remand from the previous day, was charged with stealing a case of brandy from a road contractor named Burns on the 1st inst. The prisoner pleaded not guilty. James Burns deposed as follows:-I am a road contractor and reside at Mount Beckwith. I recollect the 1st inst. On that day I saw the prisoner in a blacksmith's shop belonging to Mr Bowman at Mount Beckwith. I had three cases of brandy in another house belonging to Mr Bowman, and from information received I suspected that the place was going to be robbed. I left a man in charge of the house in which the brandy was, and I went to the Stirling Castle Hotel. On going there I passed the blacksmith's shop and I heard noise inside as if some one was knocking the head off a bottle. I got a candle and went into the shop and found a case of brandy with a board started off it and one bottle taken out. There were five men in the shop at the time, viz, the prisoner, John Campbell, Patrick Dargan, and two others whose names I do not know. They were all lying down. The case of brandy I found in the shop was my property. It was of the value of about £2 8s. The brandy is now in a tent at the Stirling Castle Hotel. I was directed by the police to produce it. I never sold it, nor authorised any one to take it.

Edward Shiehy deposed as follows :-I am a laborer, and reside at Mount Beckwith. On the 1st instant I was at the Stirling Castle Hotel, and from what Mr Burns said to me I went into the blacksmith's shop, and found a case of brandy on the floor. I saw five men in the room ; some of whom were wrapped in their blankets. I cannot say who brought the brandy there. I did not see any one drinking. I had seen the case of brandy previously in a house belonging to Mr Bowman. I did not hear any one in the shop make any remark as to how the brandy came there. The police applied for a further remand, in order to enable them to summon Mr Burns, to produce the brandy, and to subpoena a witness named Milligan, whom Mr Burns had promised to produce, but failed to do so. The prisoner objected to the remand, and stated that he would call a witness that would prove his innocence.

The bench refused to remand, and for the defence called Patrick Ready, who deposed as follows :-I am a laborer and reside near Creswick. I was at the Stirling Castle on the night the case was taken. I went to tea about seven or eight o'clock that, night, and there was a window in the tea room that looked towards the store where the brandy was. After I was about an hour at tea I heard a man walking in the yard, I looked out through the window and saw the man going towards the store ; he was then joined by another man and both of them went to the store. One of them opened the door and went into the store, and in about ten minutes afterwards I saw him coming out with the case on his head. He went away with the case and shortly afterwards came back and fastened up the door. I had seen the man before. He had been working about the works for a few days. I know Campbell and Hood. It was neither of them that went into the store, but Dargan was the man that stood outside. The prisoner was discharged, and the chairman severely censured the prosecutor for his conduct in the case, and cancelled the warrant against the other four men who were in the blacksmith's shop. It appears that after Mr Burns found the case of brandy in the house with these men, he allowed a week to pass by without mentioning the matter to the police, and it was only when three of the men alluded to had summoned him (Burns) for their wages that he laid an information against them and obtained a warrant for their arrest. The court then adjourned.[3]

In December 1869 a man died on his way home from the hotel:

An inquest was held on the body of Alexander M'Leod, by the district coroner, at Mount Beckworth, on 24th December. It appeared that the deceased had gone to Talbot on the preceding day, with a friend named John Nicholson, and on their return about nine o'clock the same evening, they stopped at the Stirling Castle hotel, Mount Beckworth, for about an hour, and had some drink there. On leaving, deceased took a bottle of brandy with him, and proceeded homewards, while Nicholson went on towards the house of a friend named M'Donald, where he intended staying during the night. About nine o'clock the next morning, a man named James Purcell found M'Leod dead on the side of the road leading from his place to the Stirling Castle hotel, and the bottle of brandy lying near his head, uncorked, and about two thirds empty. Dr Robinson made a post mortem examination, and found the cause of death to be fracture of the skull attended with concussion and compression of the brain. It is, therefore, supposed that the unfortunate man fell from his horse on the metalled road, and died almost immediately. The jury, in accordance with the medical evidence, returned a verdict of accidental death.[4]

In March 1872, J. Bryce was given permission to hold a private party at the hotel.[5]

Community Involvement[edit | edit source]

Inquests[edit | edit source]

  • William Huckerby, 4 March 1871, whose body was found on the side of the Talbot Road. Cause of death apoplexy.[6]

Politics[edit | edit source]

  • August 1865, it was a polling place for the Bet Bet Shire elections.[7]
  • January 1872, meeting of ratepayers in the southern riding of Talbotshire.[8]

The People[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1876 'POLICE INTELLIGENCE. CITY COURT.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 December, p. 4. , viewed 22 Jul 2019,
  2. 2.0 2.1 1871 'CLUNES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 23 March, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  3. 1862 'CLUNES POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 2 December, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR), viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  4. 1869 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 29 December, p. 2. , viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  5. 1872 'POLICE.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 March, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  6. 1871 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 6 March, p. 2. , viewed 18 Jan 2024,
  7. 1865 'BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.', Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (Vic. : 1857 - 1867 ; 1914 - 1918), 9 August, p. 2. , viewed 15 Jul 2023,
  8. 1872 'MEETING AT MOUNT BECKWORTH.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 30 January, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jul 2023,

External Links[edit | edit source]