Tannery Hotel

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The Tannery Hotel was a hotel in Ballarat, <1858-1861.




The hotel was in Sturt Street[1] In 1861 the mining map places a Thannery Hotel in Sturt Street[2], on the south east with Alfred Street, just north of the Thannery Company gold mining shafts. However there is no other record of a hotel by this name. The map shows the hotel being part of the block which contained the Copenhagen Pleasure Gardens, which included the Tannery Hotel:

The second annual gathering of the Highland Society of Ballarat took place on Monday in the Copenhagen grounds, at the rear of the Tannery Hotel, Sturt street.[3]


The hotel was totally destroyed by fire in February 1861:

FIRE AT THE TANNERY HOTEL, BALLARAT. About twelve o'clock last night the alarm of fire was sounded from the tower of the Western Fire Brigade, and immediately after from that of the Eastern Brigade, a fire being visible some where to the westward. Sturt street from end to end was speedily alive with persons rushing to the site of the fire. On proceeding along the road the first rumor was that Mr Salmon's house was on fire. Then the wooden buildings occupied by Mr Tunbridge, a little farther on, were consigned hypothetically to the flames. By the time, however, that the Pleasant street end of Sturt street was reached it was clear enough that the conflagration was at the Tannery Hotel. On arriving at the spot we found the hotel in ruins, nothing but two tall chimneys and a smoking blazing mass of debris remaining of the well known hostelry itself. The engine and hose carriage of the Western Brigade were on the spot soon after the alarm was raised, accompanied by a solitary water carrier ; but by that time the roof had fallen in and the place was in ruins. The engine and horse carriage of the Eastern Brigade followed in some 15 or 20 minutes after, but all that either Brigade could do was to to throw what water was available upon the smouldering embers, and upon the adjacent dwelling, which, owing to the wind being from the east, was fortunately preserved unharmed, although almost touching the burning hotel.
Mr Boyd was the first to discover the fire, and he informs us that he had just retired to rest in the dwelling-house, and had not yet fallen asleep, when he was aroused by the smell of smoke. He immediately arose and opened the door, when the flames burst out, and the whole hotel was a mass of fire in a few minutes. The destruction of the dwelling house seemed at that time inevitable, and he rescued Mrs Boyd and children, jumping down from the verandah with his little daughter in his arms. Mrs Boyd and the family were at once housed in the outhouses at the rear, with what of household goods were taken out in the excitement. Mr Boyd tells us no one slept in the hotel, and he is utterly at a loss to account for the fire, which appeared to have its origin in the better portion of the hotel, from which nothing whatever worth mention could be saved. Mr Boyd was insured for £1000 in the Victoria Company, and we believe the policies held will cover the loss sustained.[4]

Community Involvement

Christmas entertainment was provided at the hotel in December 1858:

TANNERY HOTEL, STURT STREET.-The proprietor of the above, who rather ambitiously christen's his premises "Copenhagen Grounds," has also put forth a programme of amusement of a highly attractive nature. The great feature of this is a handicap walking match (six miles), the winner of which is to receive a splendid silver cup, and the second man to get the whole of the entry money. Prizes are also offered for running high leaps, a hundred yards "spurt" race, a one mile race, &c, &c, which will no doubt suit the taste of the oi polloi to a tittle.[5]

The hotel's location next to the Copenhagen Pleasure Grounds made it a popular community venue, including as mention above, the Caledonian Society's Highland Games, and the Athletic Clubs sports day:

The first celebration of sports under the auspices of the Ballarat Athletic Club took place yesterday in the Copenhagen grounds, near the Tannery Hotel. The weather was fine, and some 1000 or 1200 persons were on the ground. The arrangements were not by any means so perfect as at New Year's Day, when the Caledonian Society held their meeting on the same spot, but it is only fair to state that the barriers were not in so good order as then. This is not, however, a valid excuse for the laches of the managers, who we trust will try and do better next time.[6]

The People

From at least June 1858 to February 1861 the publican was William Boyd.[7][1][4]


See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1859 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 28 May, p. 2, viewed 1 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66053306
  2. Victoria. Mines Department. Ballaarat gold field. No. 1 [cartographic material] 1861. MAP RM 3915, National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-rm3915-sd-cd
  3. 1860 'THIS HIGHLAND GAMES.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 3 January, p. 2. , viewed 11 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72464105
  4. 4.0 4.1 1861 'FIRE AT THE TANNERY HOTEL, BALLARAT.', Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1926), 1 March, p. 3. , viewed 12 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148696642
  5. 1858 'CHRISTMAS AMUSEMENTS ON BALLARAT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 27 December, p. 3. , viewed 12 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66332996
  6. 1860 'News and Notes.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 10 April, p. 2. , viewed 12 June 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72466101
  7. 1858 'DISTRICT POLICE COURT.', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 12 June, p. 2. , viewed 10 Jun 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66048627

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