The Ben Hall Sites - Bushranger Hotel | NSW Environment & Heritage

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The Ben Hall Sites - Bushranger Hotel

Item details

Name of item: The Ben Hall Sites - Bushranger Hotel
Other name/s: Kimberley's Commercial Hotel, Kimberley's Inn
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Commercial
Category: Hotel
Location: Lat: -34.9122720039 Long: 149.4316782220
Primary address: 24 Church Street (Federal Highway), Collector, NSW 2581
Parish: Collector
County: Argyle
Local govt. area: Upper Lachlan
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Pejar
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT3 DP 554640
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
24 Church Street (Federal Highway)CollectorUpper LachlanCollectorArgylePrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Bushranger Hotel, originally Kimberley's Commercial Hotel, contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as a surviving example of the many public houses and stores robbed by Ben Hall and his gang. The Hotel is one of the only surviving places which has been in continuous use that was the subject of attack by bushrangers. It was also illustrates the gangs practice of taking citizens hostage in a public bar whilst the bushrangers undertook their robbery. The Hotel illustrates the loss of life and considerable fear instilled in the community by the bushrangers. Constable Nelson was killed adjacent to the Hotel whilst attempting to stop the robbery and taking of hostages on 26 Jan 1865, one of three murders committed by Ben Hall's gang. The Hotel has local significance as a good example of hotels built in response to the increase in population during the period of the gold rush in the area. The Bushranger Hotel has significance at a Local level as a mid 19th century stone hotel building constructed in the Victorian Georgian style.
Date significance updated: 19 Mar 09
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.

Description

Construction years: 1860-1861
Physical description: The Hotel is comprised of two buildings which have been joined by a roof and incremental additions. The original building at the front is Victorian Georgian and was originally constructed without verandahs. The building is constructed of random rubble stone with red brick quoins around the majority of windows and doors. The rear wall of the front building is constructed of blockwork. The building has a truncated gable roof with a rear skillion and is two storeys over a split level. To the western end of the main building the wall has been extended at the ground floor level and a side wing added to form the public bar. The construction of the front wall of the public bar is similar to the front wall of the main building but was built at a later date as evidenced by the earliest photograph of the hotel. A two storey verandah with masonry columns has been added to the front of the building and and enclosed on the upper level for use as a sleepout. A rounded corner enclosure has been added to the front of the ground floor bar extension.
Behind the main building is another building which was originally seperate but it has since been joined by a roof. The building is constructed of the same random rubble stone with red brick quoins and has a lopsided gable groof.
Internally the building is used as a bar, lounge and restaurant, kitchen and beer garden on the ground level. Upstairs the building houses guest accommodation.
On the western end of the hotel is a memorial to Constable Nelson who was killed by John Dunn, a member of Ben Hall's Gang, on that spot in 1865. It is a granite obelisk on a base of three steps, surrounded by a steel picket fence. The inscription reads " This monument is erected by the Government of NSW to the memory of Constable Samuel Nelson who was shot dead on this spot whilst in the execution of his duty by the outlaw John Dunn on 26th January 1865."
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good. Many additions and alterations. Some evidence of salt damp.
Date condition updated:12 Mar 09
Modifications and dates: The building has had a verandah added to the front and a bar added to the side. An enclosed beer garden has also been added to the side. The space between the front building and the rear building has been enclosed. Past owners found fire arms under the floorboards. The cellar has been filled in.
Current use: Commercial - hotel and restaurant and accommodation
Former use: Inn

History

Historical notes: The first official land grants in Collector were to a father and son, Terrence and Terence Aubrey Murray in 1829. The Murray's sub-divided part of their grant in 1841 and apparently gave many of the lots to employees. Around 1851 Thomas Kimberly, a leather-worker, opened a boot shop in the town, his Wellington boots became well known across the State.

Ten years later (1860-61) Kimberly built Kimberly's Commercial Hotel (Bushranger Hotel). Kimberly incorporated his boot shop into the Hotel building. There were five hotels in Collector at this time, catering to the flood of prospective gold miners rushing to the gold fields at Kiandra. Collector was also a staging post on the way to the Monaro area.

On 26 January 1865 Ben Hall, John Gilbert and John Dunn had begun the morning holding up people on the road south of Goulburn until they were scared away by a detachment of troopers. They then moved operations to the outskirts of Collector, where they took eight men and boys hostage, forcing them into town. Hall and Gilbert went into Kimberley's Commercial Hotel for money and firearms while Dunn guarded the captives outside and turned a traveller away by firing several shots in his direction. Meanwhile Constable Samuel Nelson the only police office in town at the time, made his way to the Hotel, being joined along the way by one of his sons. Another one of his other sons had been taking captive and was already outside the Hotel. Dunn, on seeing Nelson approach, took cover behind a fence and called on Nelson to halt. When he failed to do so Dunn fired a rifle, hitting Nelson in the stomach. Dunn then pulled out his revolver and fired, this time hitting him in the face. Nelson fell dead. Nelson's son escaped into town as Dunn fired on him. On hearing the shots, Hall and Gilbert came out of the Hotel and, after rifling the Nelson's body and taking his belt and firearms, they left town. (Penzig 1985:115).

A memorial to Constable Nelson has since been erected next to the hotel.

The later history of the Hotel has been overshadowed by its associations with Ben Hall, but it is known to have been licensed by a Mrs Marlin (Gunning and District Historical Soceity 1992:29). The building is still operating as a Hotel with a bistro and accommodation.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Convict-Activities relating to incarceration, transport, reform, accommodation and working during the convict period in NSW (1788-1850) - does not include activities associated with the conviction of persons in NSW that are unrelated to the imperial 'convict system': use the theme of Law & Order for such activities Demonstrating convicts' experiences and activities-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services Innkeeping-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Living a life of crime-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Engaging in bushranging and banditry-
7. Governing-Governing Law and order-Activities associated with maintaining, promoting and implementing criminal and civil law and legal processes Scenes of criminal activities-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Going to the pub-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Ben Hall, bushranger-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Bushranger Hotel which was originally Kimberley's Commercial Hotel is of State significance as one of the Ben Hall Sites. The Hotel is one of the only surviving places which has been in continuous use that was the subject of attack by bushrangers in NSW. It demonstrates the type of place targetted by criminals who became known as bushrangers in the latter half of the 19th century.
The Bushranger Hotel is of local significance as it exemplifies rural hotels in the 1860's and because the hotel provides physical evidence of the influence the gold rush had upon commerce and development of the area.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
The Bushranger Hotel is associated with Ben Hall, John Dunn and John Gilbert notorious bushrangers active in the Central West of NSW in the 1860's. The Hotel was subject to a raid by the Ben Hall gang on 26 Jan 1865 when the place was used to hold hostages they captured on the road to Goulburn and money was taken.
The Bushranger Hotel contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as the site of Constable Nelson's murder by John Dunn, a member of Ben Hall's gang during the raid by the gang. The Hotel illustrates the loss of life and considerable fear instilled in the community by the bushrangers. This was one of the three murders committed by Ben Hall's gang.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Bushranger hotel has significance at a Local level as a mid 19th century stone hotel building constructed in the Victorian Georgian style.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Due to the association of the Hotel with Ben Hall the place does have some value to contemporary Australian society. This is only at a State level when considered collectively with the other Ben Hall Sites.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
The Hotel has the potential to have mid 19th century archaeology some of which may relate to defending the hotel such as the fire arms said to have been found under the floor.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
The Bushranger Hotel is of local significance as the sole survivor of the five original inns at Collector.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
The Bushranger Hotel contributes to the State significance of the Ben Hall Sites as it is representative of the public houses and stores robbed by bushrangers in NSW and, in particular, the Ben Hall gang. The site is representative of the loss of life and fear inflicted on communities through bushranging activities of the Ben Hall gang.
The hotel is significant at a local level as a representative example of a mid 19th Century hotel built in the Victorian Georgian style.
Integrity/Intactness: The Hotel retains its integrity and has continuously operated as a hotel since it was built.
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.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register - Element 0182708 Oct 10 50768/10/2010

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
TourismAccommodation Homepage2007Bushranger Hotel View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Colegdar Restaurant View detail
WrittenGunning and District Historical Society1992Historic Landmarks of Gunning Shire
WrittenPenzig, Edgar1985The Sandy Creek Bushranger: A Definitive History of Ben Hall, His Gang And Associates
WrittenSmith, Peter1985Tracking Down the Bushrangers
TourismVisit NSW Web page2007Bushranger Hotel View detail

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: Heritage Office
Database number: 5055032
File number: H03/00307


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