Hopetoun Hotel Including Interior | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Hopetoun Hotel Including Interior

Item details

Name of item: Hopetoun Hotel Including Interior
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Hotel
Primary address: 416 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSw 2010
Parish: Alexandria
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
416 Bourke StreetSurry HillsSydneyAlexandriaCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

The Hopetoun Hotel is significant for its 150 years continuity at the site.

The Hopetoun Hotel is significant as a venue for bands continuously for 20 years.

The Hopetoun Hotel is significant as a good example of early Federation warehouse style face brick flat iron building.

The Hopetoun Hotel is significant for its landmark qualities.

The Hopetoun Hotel is significant as its plan form illustrates the conflicting stret grids, from the Mehan and Mitchell plans.
Date significance updated: 03 Sep 03
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.


Construction years: 1836-1839
Physical description: Two storey brick façade with tiling around the external ground floor street frontages.
Modifications and dates: 1885 iron roof replacing the original shingle roof.

1901- a new face brick façade with contrasting bands and sandstoone base to sill height, casement windows and detailed parapet, replacing the old walls fronting Bourke St and Fitzroy Street.

1934 suspended framed awning and tiling of the ground floor external faces.
Further information: Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are constantly updated by the City as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Current use: Hotel
Former use: Hotel


Historical notes: The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.

With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.

(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )

In 1792 Governor Phillip marked the boundary of the town of Sydney on Eora land from the head of woolloomooloo Bay to the head of Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour). All the land outside the boundary which became Surry Hills was designated for farming. The sandhills and vegetation enjoyed and maintained by the Cadigal owners for thousands of years were quickly stripped to provide materials for the new town.

In 1793 Major Francis Grose 'allotted to such officers as have asked one hundred acres of land which with great spirit, they at their own expense are clearing'. The first Surry Hills landowner under the authority of terra nullius was Captain Joseph Foveaux, the tiger of the rum corps. Foveaux accepted his first grant of 105 acres in 1793 and later increased his property to most of Surry Hills.

John Palmer in 1794 was granted 70 acres. His land become known as George Farm. The area was first utilised for horticultural activities with the encouragement by Major Grose to use convict labour to work their land and sell their products to the government.

During the 1830s and 1840s the area was subdivided into villa estates that were highly fashionable amongst the gentry class. From 1850 to 1890 a major surge of development occurred in Surry Hills. The 1860s and 1870s saw the decline of the gentry class and the rise of mechanics, artisans and shopkeepers. The rapid subdivision of land and development of housing was not proceeded with the implementation of basic amenities and sanitation problems became widespread. Having been developed over swampland, drainage problems in the southern Bourke Street area were particularly bad.

Somewhere between 1836 and 1839 the hotel was built. It was was known as the Cookatoo Inn with Joseph Ward holding the licence that he had transferred from a establishment he had in Pitt street Sydney. He retained this till 1841. In june 1842 to May 1859 Benjamin Joseph Oliffe was the licensed publican of the Cookatoo Inn.

From 1860 to 1873 the name changed to the Sportsman's Arms with William Keble as the publican to 1863 and Francis Phillips to 1873.

The name was changed in late 1873 to the Kilkenny Inn with Margaret Conlon as licensee till 1879. She became the registered owner of the property in 1879 and Edward Rout became the licensee.

In 1882 the property was sold to James Brierley, a builder for 1630. Patrick O'Malley became the publican in 1882 and then Thomas Hope took over in 1884.

May 1885 the property was sold to Publican Gustave Thomas Buckham for 3515. The building underwent renovations, including an iron roof replacing the shingles, and now called the Great Western Hotel. Buckham was managing the hotel in 1886 and was followed by 5 licenses until his deathin 1893. The hotel continued operation under the guidence of Buckhams trustes and the hotel was leased to Tooth & Co. in 1900. When Buckhams wife died in 1901 the hotel was auctioned and sold to Tooth & Co. for 5400.

Tooth & Co. proceeded to fix up the hotel with a new face brick façade with contrasting bands and sandstone base to sill height, casement windows and detailed parapet, replaced the old walls fronting Bourke Street and Fitzroy Street, protruding 9 inches outside the 19th century building line.

In 1901the revamped Hotel was named in honour of the first Governor General, Lord Hopetoun.

Many general repairsoccured over the following years including the result of a car crash causing damage to the show window and displacing seven bricks in 1931 and damage to upstair rooms afterstorm damage in the same year.

Since the 1920s it had become illegal to provide verandahs with posts and most pubs were required to install steel framed awnings suspended from the façade. This also resulted in tiling the outside façade. From the pavement to a tile of five feet, the façades were covered with hygienic vitreous tiles in dark orange and brown. Above the tiles, up to the underside of the canopy, the wall was plastered and painted cream. The part of the building above the canopy was left left untouched.

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Hopetoun Hotel has historical significants because:
*it has been a local corner pub since 1840
*Its plan at the corner describes the overlay of two early conflicting surveys by Meehan in 1814 and Mitchell in 1831.
*Its use is associated with early development (colonisation) of the area, later association with Tooths & Co. and with the late 20th century promotion of the local music industry.
*It is significant for its association with leading Australian bands and their early promotion.
It provides evidence of most aspects of its history despite many alterations required for survival of its use over its 160 year life.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Hopetoun Hotel is significant because:
*It has landmark qualities, accentuated by its acute plan with splayed corner and expression of detail verticality and by its turn of the century character in a Victorian terrace context
*It exemplifies the trend of upgrading hotels at the turn of the century in the Federation warehouse style.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Hopetoun Hotel is significant as a reliable venue for 'developing talent' in the local entertainment industry.
SHR Criteria f)
The Hopetoun Hotel represents an endangered traditional-style licenced premises in neighbourhood areas by the multiplexing of bars and clubs in the vicinity.
Its practice of 20 years of support to local music development is endangered by the multiplexing of the music industry.
SHR Criteria g)
The Hopetoun Hotel represents well the traditional qualities of a neighbourhood pub in a residential area.
It has the attribute of providing a venue and support to the local music industry established in recent history and already threatened by other influences.
It is part of a group (of hotels over the state) having similar qualities through its ownership by Tooth & Co., who made a significant influence on the survival of the 'corner pub'.
Integrity/Intactness: Its significance as a complete example of its style is compromised below the awning by the application of tiles in the 1930s and modification of the openings.
Its significance in exemplifying the particular style adopted by Tooth & Co in the tiled façade has ben compromised by the modification of the openings and some replaced tiling.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

The building should be retained and conserved. A Heritage Assessment and Heritage Impact Statement, or a Conservation Management Plan, should be prepared for the building prior to any major works being undertaken. There shall be no vertical additions to the building and no alterations to the façade of the building other than to reinstate original features. The principal room layout and planning configuration as well as significant internal original features including ceilings, cornices, joinery, flooring and fireplaces should be retained and conserved. Any additions and alterations should be confined to the rear in areas of less significance, should not be visibly prominent and shall be in accordance with the relevant planning controls.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental PlanSydney LEP 2012I143614 Dec 12   
Heritage study 2.30   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenAnita Heiss Aboriginal People and Place, Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City

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: 2420473

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