162-170 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North (The Recreation)

Benjamin Woodhead was the initial owner of this large corner of Queen’s Parade (originally Heidelberg Road) and Grant Street. One of the first building built was the Cricketers Arms Hotel. This was located on the corner and was first licenced by Francis Bradley on 25 June 1868.

Google Image – July 2019

On 3 January 1870, the license was taken over by William Nicholson, and the 1871 Rate Book describes it as a wooden building of 6 rooms and a bar.

1872-1877 – Mattieu Carriconde is licensee

1877-1884 – James Sharpe

James changes the name of the hotel from the Cricketers’ Arms to Recreation.

1884-1895 – John Stewart

In 1891, the rate book now describes the building as a brick building of 10 rooms.

1895-1902 – William Cutler

MMBW Map – 1901 – State Library Victoria

The above map drafted in 1901 is important. The land from 144 to Grant Street and the two houses 1-3 Grant Street are all owned by Benjamin Woodhead. He passes away in 1902 and these locations are all sold as part of his estate. By reading the Rate Books, it looks as if he actually owns 148-170, and the foundry is separate, but it is difficult because of the numbering. We know from the Age, that the properties were described as: 144 Queen’s Parade – a double fronted weatherboard cottage of 4 rooms and land; 148 Queen’s Parade – a double fronted weatherboard cottage with shop front, 6 rooms and 3 stall stabling, a large shed and land. The three blocks of land between 148 and 162 Queen’s Parade each 35 ft x more than 112 ft; 162 Queen’s Parade, a well built double fronted weather board villa with 7 rooms, scullery, bathroom, large billiard room at rear and land (59 ft facing Queen’s Parade); 1 and 3 Grant Street, which were two superior semi detached brick villas with slate roof.

I think that 144 described above is today’s 148 Queen’s Parade and 148 is 150 Queen’s Parade. But I am not sure, clearly there were three weatherboard cottages sold and three blocks of land which do not align with todays measurements and the extension of the Recreation Hotel on Queen’s Parade.

1902-1904 – M T Malone

1904-1906 – Miss Malone


In the 1970s, two things happened, Nicola wrote a thesis on hotels in Fitzroy and photos of all the buildings in Fitzroy were taken as part of the Urban Action project. Her description with the photos below is priceless.

“An unpretentious Late Colonial building save for a few “improvements” noticeably the glazed vitreous tiles and zappy trimmings on the parapet and above the corner doorway” (Hotels in Fitzroy up to 1906, Nicola A Piccola, 1971).

Photo taken as part of the Urban Action program in 1970-1974. Owned by the State Library.
Photo taken as part of the Urban Action program in 1970-1974. Owned by the State Library.

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