House (former Victoria Inn) | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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House (former Victoria Inn)

Item details

Name of item: House (former Victoria Inn)
Other name/s: Victoria Inn
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 38-40 Auckland Street, Bega, NSW 2550
Parish: Bega
County: Auckland
Local govt. area: Bega Valley
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
38-40 Auckland StreetBegaBega ValleyBegaAucklandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The Victoria Inn, like the other hotels in Bega is associated with a major aspect of Australian cultural history- the local hotel/Inn. The Inn was a major part of the leisure and social activities of workers and travellers. The site through its various uses reflects the changes in rural Australian society, both social and economic, from its early days in the 1850s through to contemporary times (criterion a). The Victoria Inn was associated with the lives and works of numerous groups including commercial travellers, rural workers, and many local individuals, including the numerous customers and proprietors, associated with the site throughout its history (criterion b). The site is associated with Annie White, a successful female entrepreneur who established a thriving business in a rural community from the 1850's to the turn of the 20th century. Locally the site is associated with many local individuals from its use as hotel and pub through to its use as a court house, bank branch and meeting house for the town with many social events being held here (criterion d). Additionally, the site represents a social establishment that reflects the lifestyles and social activities of numerous groups and individuals associated with rural Australian society. The style of the building is also representative of design of rural Inns/hotels built during that era (criterion g).
Date significance updated: 24 Oct 13
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: Unknown
Builder/Maker: Not known
Construction years: 0-1858
Physical description: Now a pair of rendered brick cottages with steeply pitched roofs. A rare surviving Inn on the NSW south coast, built in a simple Victorian period style, located adjacent to what was once the main intersection on the road into Bega from north and south. The building retains many of its original features. The Inn was made from local bricks and had ten rooms, a kitchen and stables, and was one of the first brick buildings in Bega (Shannon, 3). The site is now a private residence and appears to be in poor condition on its left side, but fair to good on the right side. The structure does retain a high level of its original integrity.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Generally good
Date condition updated:12 Dec 13
Modifications and dates: Not known
Further information: Not known
Current use: Residence
Former use: Inn, Hotel


Historical notes: The Victoria Inn (fig 1), constructed around 1857, was a popular meeting place for prominent local identities at a time when settlement in this part of the coast was still sparse. At the time, there was an early move to establish an agricultural society in Bega occurred at the Victoria Inn. It was a small group of Bega Valley pioneers who met at the Inn managed at the time by Mrs. Annie White. A ploughing contest was arranged at the back of the Inn to indicate the young society was going ahead, with the winners being the prominent local identities Daniel Gowing and Charles McGregor (BDN 1957). There was little to guide the group at the time, as agricultural societies were not then such a tradition in country districts of NSW, so little was achieved in the early days. However, the beginnings of the present society had been formed at the old Inn. Annie White was described as 'the doyen of Bega hostesses in the 19th century' (BDN 1957). The group who had assembled at the Inn to form the agricultural society was provided with a warm hospitality by the licensee. It was Annie Whites husband who started the first ever public house in Bega on the north side of the river. Tragically, he was struck by lightning soon after buried in the local cemetery. However, this did not deter Annie who set about completing the brick Victoria Inn above the flood level, where the building stands today (BDN 1957). This episode tells a story of how the early settlers were learning to live with the conditions in the district, such as avoiding the flood prone sites around the town. Fig I - The Victoria Inn G Shaw 2006 Annie White was known to never turn away a poor traveller and this may have accounted, at least partially for her financial state, which at one point forced her to borrow 1000 pounds at 8% interest, a large sum at the time. Together with her family, Annie continued to manage the Victoria Inn until Agnes McPhee, formerly of the Roan Horse Inn at Pambula, took over from 1880. Over the years, Victoria Inn provided a venue for all manner of activities aside from merely serving alcohol to the local residents. Meetings and church services were held here (Smith 1975). Furthermore, when the first court house in Bega, which was a slab and bark hut on the corner of Carp and Peden Streets became too small and cold in the winter months, Court sessions were held at the Victoria Inn. A new brick court house was eventually erected in 1865. The Commercial Bank also had the use of a room at the Victoria Inn whilst their new building was being built. This room was essentially the first bank in Bega. Other important town meetings were held at the Victoria Inn and even church services (Smith 1975). After the agricultural society was up and running, a new site was needed for the 1874 Bega Show. This was known as Mrs White's paddock, which was located directly behind the Victoria Inn (BDN 1957). In 1901, the Inn was bought by James Cochrane who converted the building into two cottages (Florance 2005). The building was also used as the offices for the former Mumbulla Shire until the 1950s. The building is now a private dwelling that has been divided into two residences.

Recommended management:


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Statutory InstrumentList on a Local Environmental Plan (LEP)21 May 15


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanBega Valley LEP 2013I02702 Aug 13 40883
Local Environmental Plan - LapsedSchedule 5 14 Jun 02 984222

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Bega Heritage Study Vol 2 Inventory May 20072007 Pip Giovanelli  No
Historic Pubs of the Bega Valley: Heritage Signifance Assessment2006 Glenn Shaw  No

References, internet links & images


Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1100027

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