The Little Sebastian Hotel, built 1879-80, is a symmetrical single-storey hotel of bi-chrome brick construction located on Sebastian's main street, opposite the Frederick the Great Mine. The richly detailed south elevation is distinguished by a tall, central gable in the hipped roof. The gable end has an oculus vent; a plaster panel in the form of a cartouche, reading 'Little Sebastian Hotel'; a finial; and intricately fretted barge boards in the Carpenters' Gothic tradition.
Why is it significant?
The Little Sebastian Hotel, built 1879-80, is of local historical, social and aesthetic/architectural significance.
How is it significant?
The Little Sebastian Hotel is historically significant (Criterion A) as a prominent commercial building located on Main Street, Sebastian, facing the long-running and highly productive Frederick the Great Mine. The hotel contributes to the surviving evidence of Sebastian's gold producing heyday in the latter decades of the nineteenth century. In the 1890s the Little Sebastian was one of four hotels in the township; today it is the only survivor, and one of few still operating hotels in the area with gold rush-era origins. It is also the last remaining commercial building in the original centre of Sebastian. The hotel additionally derives significance from its association with the earlier White Horse Hotel (c. 1860s, demolished 1870s), on which site it is located. The Little Sebastian Hotel is of social significance (Criterion G) in the local context as place of meeting and congregation for the Sebastian community since 1879. The building's social significance is enhanced by its rich architectural detailing and location opposite the Frederick the Great Mine on the heart of the township. The association (Criterion H) with Francis Harritable is additionally of note. Harritable, a Spanish immigrant, constructed the hotel and was also a member of the consortium which established the Fredrick the Great mine in 1864. Harritable became a prominent member of the local community, and his sons farmed the family land on Rothackers Road well into the twentieth century.
The Little Sebastian Hotel is also of aesthetic/architectural significance (Criterion E). The subject building, which has a high degree of intactness externally, has unusually rich detailing for a hotel on the Bendigo goldfields. Details of note include the tall central gable to the hipped roof; the oculus vent, intricately fretted barge boards in the Carpenters' Gothic tradition, and finial to the gable end; the timber posted verandah with timber frieze rail and cast iron lacework; and the contrasting cream brick quoining to the building's corners and window and door surrounds. This somewhat exuberant design could be seen to reflect the confidence and prosperity of Sebastian at the height of the gold rush. The building is also unusual in that it does not conform to the prevailing Bendigo goldfields convention of hotels of low, spreading proportions, with parapeted frontages and no verandahs.
The Little Sebastian Hotel, built 1879-80, is a symmetrical single-storey hotel of bi-chrome brick construction located on Sebastian's main street, opposite the Frederick the Great Mine. The hotel occupies a large site, at the corner of Main Street and Vogele Road. There is a garden area to the east, as well as rear additions and outbuildings. The following description focuses on the main original building component to the south of the site; the east and north (rear) elevations are largely obscured in views from Main Street and Vogele Road.
The subject building is a richly detailed nineteenth century hotel. The front (south) elevation is distinguished by a tall, central gable in the hipped roof. The gable end has an oculus vent; a plaster panel in the form of a cartouche, reading 'Little Sebastian Hotel'; a finial; and intricately fretted barge boards in the Carpenters' Gothic tradition. The barge boards to the balance of the roof are comparatively plain. The hipped roof, over the front component of one (large) room depth, is clad with corrugated sheet steel. There is a timber posted verandah with timber frieze rail and cast iron lacework. Cream brick relieves the red face brick at the corners, resembling quoins, and to the window and door surrounds. The openings - two sets of double doors and four windows - to the front elevation are irregularly spaced. All appear to be original and are double hung sashes, with a single pane to each sash, and projecting sills. Another double-hung window, also with a cream brick surround, is located to the north end of the west elevation. The north elevation also has a painted 'HOTEL' sign. The paired timber doors are not original.
There are north-south running wings to the rear of the main original component, also of brick construction, with hipped roofs and chimneys. These appear to be of long standing, although apparently modified with elements such as skillion additions, awnings and timber pergolas added. Another wing/addition attached on an east-west alignment to the rear of the latter wings, appears to be later again.
The hotel is set back from the street behind a shallow brick paved area. There is a pre-cast concrete horse trough and pitched drain to the west of the entrance to the 'Front Bar'. The hotel appears to be in generally sound condition.