The first Bull and Mouth Hotel, a single storey stone building, opened on this site in about 1855. It was in a prominent location at the intersection of two main roads through Maryborough, backing on to the civic square, and became an important local meeting place and landmark. In 1904, Maryborough's Jubilee Year, the owner, the former Maryborough resident Thomas Procter of Ballarat, engaged the Ballarat architect W E Gribble and local builder W J Dingle to construct a new two storey hotel, incorporating three shops along High Street. It was a symbol of faith in Maryborough's future at a time when Victoria was still recovering from the 1890s depression, and expressed hopes of the town's future prosperity from deep lead mining, hopes which did not materialise. The appointments of the new hotel were the most modern for the period and included piped hot water and a telephone system. On the ground floor were a public bar, a private bar, a parlour, a spacious dining room, a commercial room, a billiard room, a kitchen and a laundry, while upstairs there was a large drawing room, more than fifteen bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is still operating as a hotel.
The Bull and Mouth Hotel is an Edwardian Baroque style two-storey, rendered brick building with an undecorated two-storey wing at the rear along Nolan Street. The ground floor walls have deeply lined rustication, with rusticated pilasters rising up to the first floor, and above is an elaborate parapet concealing the hipped, corrugated iron roof. The corner is emphasised by an oriel window topped by a circular domed turret with a flag pole. On each side of the tower are flanking gables with the name of the hotel and the date 1904 inscribed within. The ground floor windows have segmental arches and some windows have B&M etched into the glass. Outside the first floor windows are small cantilevered balconies supported by decorative consoles and shell-shaped brackets. The exterior is intact except for the three former shops on High Street, which have had the original verandahs replaced with modern cantilevered ones, and the original openings replaced with wide brick arches. The ground floor interiors have been radically altered: walls have been removed and few original features remain apart from a fine divided staircase with a brass balustrade leading from the residential entrance to the accommodation above. The hotel is an important element in the town's heritage precinct, being opposite the civic square and the former State Bank building.
How is it significant?
The Bull and Mouth Hotel is significant for historical and architectural reasons to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Bull and Mouth Hotel is architecturally significant as an exceptionally fine early twentieth century hotel building. It is a notable and early example in Victoria of the Edwardian Baroque style, which was widely adopted for public buildings in the early twentieth century, but which is not common in country Victoria. It forms an important element in the Maryborough streetscape.
The Bull and Mouth Hotel is historically significant as a demonstration of the continuing prosperity of Victoria's gold mining towns into the twentieth century, despite the 1890s depression. This continuing wealth is reflected in the grandeur of this country hotel building.