Bingara’s Royal Hotel

    BIngara's Royal Hotel. The Imperial and Sportsman hotels were built before Federation. History shows that there were others, what of the Royal Hotel

    Bingara’s Royal Hotel

    The Imperial and Sportsman hotels were built before Federation and now over one hundred years later, they are still delivering.

    However, history shows that there were others, what of them?


    The simple answer is most are lost in time. Not only are their names lost to many, in most cases nothing remains of the buildings.

    Some come to mind, the Riverview, Hartwell’s Hotel, the Central Hotel and the Post Office Hotel.

    However, there is an exception, the Royal Hotel. It closed as a hotel in the 1930s and became a boarding house until the 1980s.

    Many people recall being upset when, “it was knocked down overnight, without any warning.”

    The angst is understandable, as the impressive building had stood on the corner of Heber and Maitland Street since the 1800s.

    It is likely, but not confirmed, that the builder was probably Stephan Hogg, who had held the first licence.

    Bingara’s Royal Hotel

    The hotel was constructed in 1864 and the licence was surrendered in December 1931.

    The first licence was held by Stephen Hogg from 1 July 1865 to 30 June 1866. He was followed by Andrew Case from 1 July 1866 to 30 June 1869.

    Stephen Hogg

    No records were found confirming Stephen Hogg constructed the hotel, however, that is likely to be the case.

    When writing in Bingara Federation Families, Elva Kirk and Mervyn Williamson said:

    ‘Stephen Hogg, aged 25, and his wife Harriet sailed from England for Australia in 1842 in the ship “Hope’. Harriet died during the voyage.

    Stephen married Mary Amelia Baker at Maitland and later moved to Warialda. When gold was discovered in Bingara, he purchased a number of blocks in the town.

    Stephen must have prospered quickly as published records show that he operated the Royal Hotel on the corner of Maitland and Heber Streets.’

    It has been confirmed that Stephen found gold at Upper Bingara and this enabled him to purchase blocks in Bingara.

    Prior to Bingara, they were living in the gold mining area around Bathurst.

    It is likely, but not confirmed, that Stephen probably financed the building Commercial Hotel in Maitland Street.

    For example, In June 1866 he passed the licence of the Royal Hotel to Andrew Case and become the first licensee at the Commercial Hotel. He held it until June 1871.

    It seems Stephen and Mary moved to Sydney in the 1870s where Mary, known as Amelia, passed away in 1893. Stephen had predeceased her in1879.

    Descendants of Stephen and Mary remain in Bingara to this day.

    Also, two of Stephen and Mary’s children were buried in the block where the Salvation Army hall stands. Unfortunately, the headstones were removed when the hall was constructed.

    The children had died of diphtheria.

    Andrew Case

    Thanks to Vicki Greacen (Hogg) the following is known about Andrew Case.

    Charlotte Hogg, daughter of Stephen, married Andrew Case and they followed Stephen from Bathurst to Bingara. Charlotte and Andrew ran the Royal Hotel until 1871 when they returned to Apsley near Bathurst.

    Andrew met a premature death and Vicki provides the following reference:

    Advertiser Adelaide, Tuesday, 3 October 1916. A well-known farmer, Andrew Case, killed whilst riding a cycle towards his home, residing at Apsley, collided with a sulky sustaining such injuries that he died about an hour later.

    When Mr Case was about to pass a vehicle driven in the opposite direction, the machine struck a stone, throwing him against the shaft, which, though it did not penetrate, smashed into his right side.’

    Several ribs pierced his lungs and he passed away.  He was 57 years and left Charlotte and six children.

    On Stephen’s death, Charlotte was a beneficiary of his real estate. However, no details were located of specific holdings.

    It seems that the Hogg family’s connection to the Royal Hotel finished with Andrew’s departure; however, the connection with the Commercial Hotel remained until about 1941.

    Commercial Hotel

    Stephen and Mary’s daughter Isabella married James Smith and James was the licensee of the Commercial from 1877 to 1890. At that time the licence was transferred to a Mr Forster, formally of Bundarra.

    Regarding the land and building, Isabelle inherited it from Stephen and when she died, it was passed to sons, James and Samuel.

    Samuel purchased James’s half share in March 1937 and later sold the land and building to Keith Dalton in 1941.

    That completed the Hogg family ownership of the Commercial that had commenced in the 1860s.

    Unfortunately, the details of the final years of the Royal Hotel are less clear.

    Royal Hotel 1920

    Royal Hotel to a boarding house.

    The following details are confirmed.

    William Sinden was a licensee at the turn of the century. Besides being the hotel proprietor, Sinden was active in many community committees and owned a property called ‘Hampden”.

    John Lyons was a licensee in 1916. It is likely that the name Royal Lyons Hotel started during his occupation. No reference to “Lyons” was found before 1916. And few afterwards.

    Prior to 1921, a Mr W. McGrath had been a proprietor. The exact period is not known

    In June 1927 the hotel proprietor Alfred George Niall was cited to consider whether the premises would continue as a hotel.

    Tooth & Co records indicate Alfred lost the licence in 1927. However, this is not totally clear with other names are associated with the hotel.

    Arch Wright (1928), F Jennings, K Dalton (1929) and Christina Arneil (1929), they may have traded, but it is not clear they did. Regardless, the licence was finally surrendered in about 1832 and the building became a boarding house.

    Before finalising this brief look at the history of the Royal Hotel, it is important to recognise some irregularities between photos titled the “Royal Hotel”.

    Royal Hotel 1920

    Photo irregularities

    One photo captioned, “Lyons Royal Hotel Cnr Maitland & Heber Streets” appears to be at odds with others.

    For example, this photo shows the building is raised off the ground and has a peaked roofline on the right-hand side. However, other photos do not have a peaked roofline and the building is placed on the ground.

    When the differences were discussed with people who remembered it as a guest house, all said it was flat on the ground.

    Finally, it is disappointing that there are also considerable gaps in information found and therefore, I would be very grateful if any reader can help fill the gaps.

    Please phone 0428 241 500 if you can help. Thanks, Rod

    SOURCERodney King
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