Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Hamilton Inn

It certainly could be said that the Hamilton Inn would appear to be one of history's great survivors. From being one of over a half dozen coaching inns in and surrounding Hamilton, the Hamilton Inn has outlasted all of the others, having been continuously licensed from the late1830's until the present day.

The story of the Inn's origin was that it was constructed by Postmaster William Roadknight, a pardoned convict, as a private residence and shop between 1826 - 1838. The original building was constructed with the help of government service labor. Roadknight was the Policeman, Mill Owner, Poundkeeper and first Postmaster of Hamilton. The property was first licensed as The New Inn in 1838 by John Mowatt.

The Inn may have begun life as The New Inn, but over the years it has been know by various other names. Sometime around 1860, the name was changed and became Hart's Hotel. Following a major fire in the region during 1932, the Inn was known as The West Coast Road Hotel.By 1956, it was the Hamilton Hotel and finally in 1986, it's name was reverted back to The Hamilton Inn, a name it carries to this day.
The major fire that struck the Inn in 1932 almost saw an end to the pub as it appears that the Inn sustained major fire damage. A humorous story from that time is as follows

"Apparently the Hamilton school children were let out of school on the day of the fire and many of the kids helped out with the big clean up around the Inn. To show his gratitude to the children, the publican gave all the kids what he though were water damaged bottles of cordial. It wasn't until the children began complaining about the taste of their cordial, that the publican realized his mistake - he hadn't given them cordial, he had given them bottles of rum by mistake"

The Inn rose from the ashes and has continued to provide shelter, a good meal and a cold beer. Major renovations and restorations have taken place over the years by various owners as they all sought to bring the Inn as close as possible to its original form. 
A beautiful place to visit. Stay a few days or swing by for a quiet ale!

Main Information Sources - 
From Black Snake to Bronte : "Heritage buildings of the Derwent Valley in Tasmania" By Audrey Holiday & John Trigg

A Huge Thank You to Ian Sampson who provided me with some corrected information to what was on the original post.