Statement of Significance
What is significant?
Keilor Hotel is a Georgian-style single storey bluestone building with a slate roof and two projecting hipped bays on either side of a recessed verandah. The hotel, believed to have been constructed in 1848, is located on the main road to Macedon, now the Old Calder Highway, a site chosen so as to attract passing trade, and was an important stopping place for travellers en route to squatting runs to the north and west of Melbourne and later to the central Victorian goldfields. The bluestone walls have been rendered but the hotel clearly retains its original form and is still in operation.
How is it significant?
Keilor Hotel is architecturally and historically significant to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Keilor Hotel is architecturally significant as a representative and relatively intact example of an 1840s public house.
Keilor Hotel is historically significant as a rare example of a wayside inn opened in the squatting era. It is also a rare example of a wayside inn which was heavily patronised hotel by travellers to the central goldfields during the 1850s and 1860s. It is strongly associated with the history of Keilor as a major stopping place on the route to the central goldfields of Victoria and demonstrates the arduous nature of travel to the goldfields in the 1850s.
KEILOR HOTEL - History
The Keilor area was settled by pastoralists in the 1830s as part of the squatting occupation of Port Phillip. In 1836 squatting in the Port Phillip District was legalised. (Dingle, T. Settling. McMahons Point, NSW, 1984, p. 24) The first stage of squatting saw land closest to Melbourne taken up between 1834 and 1837. Alexander Hunter and James Watson were shareholders in a Scottish pastoral company set up in 1838 with a number of station properties in Port Phillip, of which the Head Station was at Keilor. Watson is believed to have named Keilor in 1840 after his father’s property in Scotland.
The first hotel in Keilor, known as the Keilor Inn, was constructed in 1841 on a site opposite the present Keilor Hotel. Keilor lay on the route to the squatting runs of northern and western Port Phillip. The main route to Portland and to Mount Macedon went through Keilor, and in 1846 the Mount Macedon Road was ‘the most important highway in the district’. Hotels were generally built at key geographical points relating to transport. They followed closely the tracks of explorers and claimed for their sites ports, river crossings, prominent hillsides and road junctions. Hotel keepers often operated a punt at a river crossing, deriving additional income from travellers (Hotels in Victoria Thematic Typology. G. Butler, C. McConville, 1996, p. 19). The Keilor Hotel was located close to the crossing place over the Saltwater (Maribyrnong) River.
The village of Keilor was gazetted as a township in 1850 and during the Victorian gold rush period thousands of diggers used the crossing place on the Saltwater River (Maribyrnong) at Keilor on their way to the central Victorian diggings. The infant township burgeoned in the 1850s and agriculturists set up small farms on the alluvial flats to provide fresh produce to the miners. Many of the first settlers were Irish immigrants who had fled Ireland after the potato famine of 1846 or who were later attracted to the Victorian colony by the prospect of striking it rich on the Victorian goldfields. The land was first surveyed and subdivided by the Victorian Colonial Government in 1841.(Brimbank Heritage Study, p.48) Land sales in the Keilor district and along the Salt Water River frontage were held regularly from 1851. Allotments in the Town of Keilor, Parish of Doutta Galla, County of Bourke were sold at the auction held on 2 and 3 October 1855. The layout of allotments in the township of Keilor and the agricultural lands surrounding the township reserve are shown in the composite plan titled: Plan of Suburban Lands on the Mount Alexander Road near Keilor, Nine Miles from Melbourne prepared by the surveyor Clement Hodgkinson in 1855. Many of the purchasers around Keilor township were Irish settlers.
Once gold was found in central Victoria the road to the goldfields through Keilor brought thousands of travellers through the town. The main roads of the colony in 1853 were the Mount Alexander and Sydney Roads. (City of Hume Heritage Study 1998) The journey to the Mount Alexander and Sandhurst diggings took travellers across the Maribyrnong at Keilor, continued over the Keilor Plains to Castlemaine and Bendigo. This road also branched off westward to Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Ballarat. It was said that more people travelled on the Mount Alexander Road than on any road in England. (Brimbank Heritage Study, vol. 1. P.35). A family moving their possessions by dray to the goldfields could take a day to travel the portion of the journey from Essendon to Keilor. In the 1850s, the roads to the goldfields were marked by inns and grog shops, shelters and tents, as little as a mile apart. Few of these survive. A number of archaeological sites are known on the old route to the goldfields but few standing structures survive to tell the story of the huge numbers moving to and from the diggings,.
In the 1850s, the focus of Keilor’s activities changed from agriculture to the provision of services to the goldfields travellers. Food, drink, transport, and shelter for people and horses were money-spinners for those Keilor residents who resisted the lure of digging gold for themselves. In 1854, the American firm of Cobb and Co began running their coaches to the goldfields of Castlemaine and Bendigo, with Keilor as their first main stop. Their practice was to arrange the journey in stretches of about ten miles in length, and to change horses at the end of each stretch. Keilor was about ten miles from town and was therefore a coach stop
The demand for services grew rapidly after the discovery of gold. Ten applications for hotel licenses along the Mount Alexander Road in or near Keilor were made between 1851 and 1854, reflecting the increased demand. In addition, twelve refreshment licences were granted in the Keilor area in 1853-54.
Keilor was the site of one of Caroline Chisholm’s Shelter Sheds, since Keilor was a logical stop on the goldfields journey. Ten timber sheds were planned in April 1855 to be erected by local contractors on Crown Land. The Shelter Sheds were located at ten places on the road to Bendigo, the first being at Essendon "about five miles from town", the second at Keilor, ten miles from Melbourne and the others at Robertson’s (Keilor Plains), The Gap (Aitken’s Gap), Gisborne, the Black Forest, Woodend, Carlsruhe, Malmsbury and Elphinstone. The Keilor Shed was located near the bridge.(Argus 28 April 1855)
HISTORY OF PLACE:
The Galway Arms was opened on the present Keilor Hotel site near the crossing of the Saltwater River in 1848 and was renamed the Red Lion in 1854. It reverted to the Galway Arms in 1855. The hotel became known as the Keilor Hotel in 1860. It was taken over by Matthew Goudie in December 1862 and in 1875 he purchased the building for £1000. The Goudie family had extensive farming interests in Keilor. Its present licensee, Mr Ray Dodd, is a direct descendent of Matthew and Jane Goudie.
The first licences under NSW regulations required the public house to have at least two sitting rooms and at least two bedrooms. Early pubs had to have an exterior signboard, to keep two lamps burning at night and to provide stabling for horses. As the centres for public meetings in small towns, the hotel buildings tended to have spaces for meeting rooms rather than bedrooms. When hotels were constructed as stopping places along travel routes, the provision of accommodation became more important.
After 1854, the licensing laws were reviewed in an attempt to do away with sly-grog shops. Any new licences were sited away from residential areas.
It is unclear when the present building was constructed, but it is believed to be 1848. Certainly a hotel has been conducted continuously on this site since 1848 and the architectural style is consistent with an 1848 construction date. Archaeological remains from 1848 may well exist at the rear of the building.
Nineteenth century resort hotels providing accommodation for holiday stays operated along the Victorian coastline and in the mountain areas such as Healesville and Warburton. The substantial Keilor Hotel was also a popular tourist attraction in the 1880s. In 1887, it was described as ‘ a bluestone building of 21 rooms with a slate roof’, valued at £3000. (Brimbank Heritage Study, vol. 1, p. 82). The proprietor, Mrs Jane Goudie, advertised comfortable accommodation and good stabling in 1888 for visitors who could take advantage of the good fishing and shooting in the neighbourhood . If the visitors did not bring their own horses, they could travel from Essendon by wagonette, with a service available twice daily. (Flemington Spectator 5 June 1888)
KEILOR HOTEL - Assessment Against Criteria
Assessment Against Criteria
The historical importance, association with or relationship to Victoria's history of the place or object.
Keilor Hotel is a rare and relatively intact example of a mid-nineteenth century public house which served the early traffic to the squatting runs of the Port Phillip District to the north and west of Melbourne and later to the central goldfields.
The importance of a place or object in demonstrating rarity or uniqueness.
Keilor Hotel is a rare example of a public house on the road to the goldfields which has been in continuous use as a hotel.
The place or object's potential to educate, illustrate or provide further scientific investigation in relation to Victoria's cultural heritage.
The importance of a place or object in exhibiting the principal characteristics or the representative nature of a place or object as part of a class or type of places or objects.
Keilor Hotel is a representative example of a wayside hotel of the late 1840s and 1850s, in its form and siting .
The importance of the place or object in exhibiting good design or aesthetic characteristics and/or in exhibiting a richness, diversity or unusual integration of features.
The importance of the place or object in demonstrating or being associated with scientific or technical innovations or achievements.
The importance of the place or object in demonstrating social or cultural associations.
Any other matter which the Council considers relevant to the determination of cultural heritage significance
KEILOR HOTEL - Permit Exemptions
General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable.
Non Registered Buildings
* Any internal alterations to existing buildings other than B1
* Minor external alterations to the facades of buildings other than B1 excepting the facades along Macedon Street
B1 - The Old Hotel
* Painting of previously painted walls and ceilings provided that preparation or painting does not remove evidence of the original paint or other decorative scheme.
* Removal of paint from originally unpainted or oiled joinery, doors, architraves and skirtings.
* Refurbishment of existing toilets and bathrooms including removal, installation or replacement of sanitary fixtures and associated piping, mirrors, wall and floor coverings.
* Installation, removal or replacement of electrical wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed.
* Installation, removal or replace of bulk insulation in the roof space.
* Installation, removal or replacement of smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and exit signs.
* Treatments to stabilise and protect timber structures.
* Removal of existing external aerials, airconditioning, heating and water heating plant, plumbing and ducting .
*Management of trees in accordance with Australian Standard; Pruning of amenity trees AS 4373.
*Repairs, conservation and maintenance to hard landscape elements, asphalt and gravel paths and roadways, edging, fences and gates.
*Installation, removal or replacement of garden watering and drainage systems.
KEILOR HOTEL - Permit Exemption Policy
Any remaining fabric of the 1840s and 1850s will be considered as being of primary significance. Permit applications will be required for alterations to any of that fabric.
Major alterations to the more recent buildings adjacent to the old hotel and changes, and additions on land around the old hotel, may impact negatively on the setting of the old hotel. For this reason the registered land area includes the non-registered buildings and some open area so that major changes there can be controlled through the permit process. The visibility of the early facades to Macedon Street and Hunter Street should be maintained. The other buildings on the site are not registered buildings and any internal alterations or minor alterations to the side and rear facades of these these buildings are exempted from the permit process. However, proposals for major external changes to these non-registered buildings which would impact upon the setting of the early hotel, such as additional stories or alterations to the Macedon Street facade, will be subject to permit application. Similarly the addition of new buildings or major changes to the landscaping on the registered land will be subject to permit application.
At the time of this assessment, Heritage Victoria officers did not have the opportunity to inspect the site. However the available evidence was sufficient to support the strong historical and architectural significance of the place. This policy should be reviewed following further investigation of the fabric or following the preparation of a conservation management plan.
BRIDGEVictorian Heritage Register H1427
PREFABRICATED BUILDINGVictorian Heritage Register H1971
CAROLINE CHISHOLM SHELTER SHEDSVictorian Heritage Inventory
"AMF Officers" ShedMoorabool Shire
"AQUA PROFONDA" SIGN, FITZROY POOLVictorian Heritage Register H1687