Imperial Hotel (Humffray Street)

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Table 48 formerly Imperial Hotel, 2019. Photo Marilyn Jeffs
'Immperial Hotel, Courtesy Max Harris Photography Collection, Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute
For other Imperial Hotels, see Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel was in Ballarat, Victoria, 1859-1888>.

Gabbett's Imperial Hotel, 2015



This hotel is probably on the site of the Duke of Richmond Hotel. Henry Gabbett held the publican's license for the Duke in 1860[1], but he later put 1859 as the starting date for the Imperial Hotel.

  • Ballarat has lost another respected pioneer by the death of Mr Henry Gabbett, of the Imperial hotel, corner of Humffray and Wills streets. The sad event took place yesterday afternoon, the deceased being only a short time ill. Mr Gabbett, who was a native of County Limerick, Ireland, became landlord of the Imperial hotel 28 years ago, when it was known as the Duke of Richmond. Fortune favored him in his business transactions, and outside his calling as a licensed victualler he was successful in other speculations. During his 2S years’ tenancy of the hotel he was only absent from home one night, and that was in February last, when the steamer Lonsdale went ashore near Portarlington with the Ballarat Licensed Victuallers Association’s excursionists on board. It will be remembered that the ship on which Mr Gabbett was a passenger re-mained hard and fast on a sand bank from 4 p.m. until 8 a.m. Mr Gabbett used frequently to refer to this adventure in speaking of his first and enforced absence from Ballarat during his long residence here. The deceased, who was twice married, leaves an adult family to mourn their loss. For a long time he occupied the position of vice-president of the Ballarat Licensed Victuallers’ Association. He was a member of the local Hibernian Society at the time of his death. Numerous acts of charity could be recorded in connection with Mr Gabbett’s long residence in this district. He was particularly kind to the tenants occupying his cottages in Ballarat East, and repeatedly he waived his claim for rent at Christmastide. Mrs R. T. Hager is a daughter of the deceased, and last week his second daughter was married to Mr Walsh. A third daughter is in the Presentation Convent, St. Kilda. In his last illness Mr Gabbett, who was 63 years of age, was attended by Drs Salmon, Morrison, and Mullally. The funeral will take place tomorrow at 3 o’clock[2]
  • In 1972 G.S.Thomas changed the name of the hotel to Welcome Nuggett[3]


At the Licensing Court 1888 hearings the following description was given of the hotel:

Imperial hotel— R. T. Hager, licensee; John Walsh, owner. A large two-storied brick building, with 15 rooms splendidly furnished and well conducted, accommodation of a superior class, chiefly a bar business when visited by the inspector.[4]


Close up of sign on the Imperial Hotel, 2015

The Imperial Hotel was on Bakery Hill[5], in Humffray Street.[6] An 1861 map shows the hotel on the south east corner with Corbett Street.[7]

William Bramwell Withers described the hotel in 1888:

Then there is Gabbett’s hotel dated as of the year he came to Ballarat, at the south-east corner of Wills and Humffray streets. It is rather a picturesque design, smacking of Queen Anne’s time.[8]

This building is still standing and has been through many name changes over the years.


Community Involvement

Works Produced

Workplace Relations

The People


The hotel building is still standing on the corner of Mair Street and Humffray Street.

See also



  1. 1860 'EASTERN POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 4 October, p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR., viewed 28 October, 2015,
  2. The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924) Thu 17 Nov 1887
  3. Sands & McDougall's Directory of Ballarat. 1970-1972
  4. 4.0 4.1 1888 'HUMFFRAY STREET HOUSES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 27 June, p. 4. , viewed 05 Oct 2016,
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Licencing Court for Publicans," The Star, Thursday 19 June 1862, pg. 4,, (accessed January 17, 2014)
  6. 6.0 6.1 1863 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 18 June, p. 4, viewed 4 February, 2014,
  7. Victoria. Mines Department. Ballaarat gold field. No. 1 [cartographic material] 1861. MAP RM 3915, National Library of Australia,
  8. 1888 'BALLARAT CHRONICLES AND PICTURES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 August, p. 4, viewed 26 October, 2015,
  9. 1874 'BALLARAT EAST LICENSING BENCH. ANNUAL MEETING.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 December, p. 4, viewed 26 October, 2015,
  10. 1887 'IMPUDENT SWINDLE.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 25 October, p. 4, viewed 28 October, 2015,
  11. Sands & McDougall's Directory of Ballarat. 1970-1972

Further Reading

External Links

--Mjeffs 15:35, 9 October 2018 (AEDT); 12:20, 26 March 2019 (AEDT)

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