Sunday, 7 February 2016

George Town Hotel

The George Town Hotel is the oldest continually licensed hotel in George Town. The double storey brick building with its iron lace veranda h is one of the most notable of George Town's early buildings.

The first licensed premises in George Town was the military canteen, operated by Richard Haimes. In 1831 two public houses had been licensed. The George Town Hotel and the George Inn, operated by sea captains, Joseph James & John Thomas. In 1832, Richard Haimes opened the Waterloo Tavern on the corner of Macquarie & Sorell streets. The hotel was later owned by George Wilson. In 1835 John Batman stayed at the Waterloo tavern while awaiting his departure on the Rebecca for Port Philip.

Staying in George Town in the early days was not without its adventures. In December 1833, the George Inn was raided by bushrangers. They tied up John Thomas and the servants, ordered supper, called for several pots of beer and proceeded with Mrs Thomas to search the house. They stayed the night leaving just before dawn with their booty, which included six bottles of rum, sugar, flour, tea, tobacco, some plums for a Christmas pudding and a spyglass.

The present George Town Hotel was first licensed in 1846 as the British Hotel. It is not known when the name changed but it was still called the British Hotel in the 1890's. Around the end of the First world War, The George Town Hotel was taken over by Harold Grey, and the grey family ran the hotel until 1976. It is still locally known as Gray's Hotel

Main Text & Information Source - 
"Treasures Of George Town" - George Town & District Historical Society 2003
Model version of The George Town Hotel part of the wonderful Model Village of 19th Century George Town recreated to scale by volunteers and can be viewed at the George Town Watch House


  1. The iron lace verandah is delicate and still looks beautiful, despite military men, bush rangers and boozy customers. The dormer windows look super, but how common would you say they were?

    1. I love dormer windows. I reckon they look great in any situation. I think they really show how important the Inns were during the early years as a source of accommodation for travellers in all parts of the country. There's so many beautiful buildings around Tassie that include dormer windows. I love them!

  2. Thank you for putting up this post of the George Town Hotel. Richard HAIMES was my Great Great Great Grandfather. I knew about his ownership of the hotel and some of it's history but had never seen a photo of the actual building and hadn't realised it was still standing so thank you very much for putting the blog and the photo up which has enabled me to see it.

    1. You're very welcome, Mabel. It's still a lovely building.