543 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North (Lord Newry Hotel)

Constructed in 1873, with the first owner James Arnold. It is unknown who the architect or builder was.

A simple two storey corner hotel. Built in 1873 and subsequently remodelled on the ground floor in c. 1920. The upper floor façade is intact and very plain – only a projecting cornice breaks up an otherwise unmodeled façade. It is likely that the building originally had a verandah.” (North Fitzroy Conservation Study 1978) (Glossary)

The Lord Newry’s first publican was M.J. Lever in 1873 and subsequent publicans were (sourced from Hotels of Fitzroy to 1906, by Nicola Piccolo, Melbourne University Thesis 1971):

  • Miss R. Gee (1876-1879)
  • J. H. Brenan (1879-1883)
  • Mrs A. Brenan (1883-1886)
  • Fred Chadwick (1886-1887)
  • Thomas King (1887-1888)
  • F.W. Walstenholme (1888-1890)
  • Spencer W. Bates (1890-1891)
  • Robert Bright (1891-?)

Nicola says “But for the carving of the hotel name above the two side doors, which was a High Victorian innovation, the hotel is built in the Early Victorian style. Note also the stained glass windows wit the traditional Art Nouveau motif of a tapered stalk topped by an inverted heart”. (Hotels of Fitzroy to 1906, by Nicola Piccolo, Melbourne University Thesis 1971)

Rob Deutscher Photo from Flickr 2018

The following I have yet to research, but at some point a Mrs Branagan is the licensee, she was a widow. Her father Mr Campbell lived on 90 Alexandra Parade. Her nephew (brother’s son), recalls the following about Mrs Branagan, that she was only “as big as a penny” but seemed to be quite strict with the hotel, saying to a man drinking “no more after this drink. You have had enough” and to the men on the way to the football “now I cannot refuse you a drink. I will shout you this drink. I ask you to leave and not come back to my hotel”. He also recalls that she was very generous to those in financial trouble and had employed her sister and her husband in the bar. Both were hearing impaired.

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