Hotels & Inns in Gawler since 1839

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The following information has been gathered with permission from “Hotels and Publicans in South Australia” by J.L. (Bob) Hoad Adelaide 1986 ISBN 0 86745 002 9 and ISBN 0 9595446 2 3

HOTELS & INNS in GAWLER since 1839 Including Bassett Town, Evanston, Gawler Plains, Gawler South and Gawler West.

Bushman Inn – see Old Bushman

Calton’s – see Old Spot

Commercial – see South End

Criterion – see The Criterion

Criterion Hotel - see The Criterion

Criterion Tavern - see The Criterion

Engine & Driver


Family – See Railway Family

Gawler Arms

Gawler Belt Inn


Globe - see Kingsford Hotel

Globe Inn – see Kingsford Hotel

Golden Fleece – see Old Spot – 77 Murray Street





New Bushman

Old Bushman

Old Bushman Hotel

Old Bushman’s Hotel

Old Bushman’s Inn

Old Spot Inn – see Old Spot

Old Spot Hotel – see Old Spot

Old Spot – 77 Murray Street; formerly Golden Fleece, Calton’s, Old Spot Inn, and Old Spot Hotel

Prince Albert

Prince Albert Inn – see Prince Albert

Railway – see Railway Family

Railway Family

Railway (and) Family – see Railway Family

Railway Terminus – see Railway Family, 18th Street, Gawler

Ram’s Head


South End – was Commercial

Sportsman’s – Gawler Plains

Terminus –see Railway Family

The Criterion



Willaston (original)

Young’s – see New Bushman

Gawler’s Hotels

From The Bunyip, 11th February 1927

“A most interesting publication has been unearthed from the shelves within the “Bunyip” Office, being a general and commercial directory published by W Barnet, Murray Street, in 1860, three years before the birth of ' The Bunyip.'

There was certainly an overplus of pubs, or rather inn was the accepted word in other days, although some houses rose to the dignity of an hotel.

Within the corporation the oldest was the Old Spot Inn, controlled by Edward Martin. Others were the Globe (George Causby), Prince Albert Hotel (John McEwen), Gawler Arms (Ed.Clements), Old Bushman (J. H. Howe), later Hon. J. H. Howe), and Grapes Inn (Ernest Kopke). Evidently the Commercial and Exchange houses came later in the sixties.

These should have been sufficient for the small population then existing, but the outside and sparsely populated areas had even more public attention than the town residents. The cause was the slow locomotion, bullocks being the principal traction, and the fact that Burra copper was carted through to Port Adelaide.

Over in Gawler South area were the Mill Inn (H. W. Buckerfield), Ram's Head (C. C. Crace, Evanston), Railway Hotel (Ed. Martin), Engine and Driver Hotel (J. Schmidt, Bassett Town), Smithfield Hotel (J. Bennett), Penfield (Josiah Chesterman), with Salisbury a nest of drinking houses. Other hotels in the district in 1860 were the Willaston Hotel, Gawler Belt Inn, Shea-oak Log Inn, Half Moon, Seven Stars, and the Bush Inn, and the Wheatsheaf on the road to Lyndoch Valley. Even after this date the hotels multiplied, and as quickly went down again.

It was also fascinating to trace the titles of the hotels their extant in the neighbourhood, tracing such signs as Globe Inn, Murray street; Gawler Arms; Old Bushman; Old Spot Inn; Ernst Kopek/ Grapes Inn, Murray street; H. W. Buckerfield, Mill Inn, Gawler Bridge ; C. C. Crace, ' Ram's Head, Evanston ; Thomas Henry, Wheatsheaf Inn, Lyndoch Valley road ;Railway Hotel, Gawler west; Schmidt, Engine and Driver hotel, Bassett Town; Willaston hotel; Smithfield was described purely as publican ; with another at Penfield titled innkeeper; it was also noticed that Smithfield had a ‘second house’ kept by one John Smith.

Peachey Belt had its inn, as did Salisbury have several. Lyndoch's hotel was then styled 'Lord Lyndoch' hotel; with another Barossa Inn, and there was another on the Sandy Creek Road, Gawler, known as the Bush Inn, kept by a George Ward ; with inns also at Williamstown and Templers. Doubtless there were many others, or some sprung up after that date, to again sink into oblivion. One may be recalled, the inn at Gawler Belt.”

By the late 1860’s Gawler had 14 hotels with a population of only 1,000 people! Gawler was a highly industrialised town with labour intense factories, foundries and mills. It was also a hub for the rural communities of the mid-north of South Australia. But it was the trade from the hard drinking bullockies travelling between Port Adelaide and Burra that also had a big influence on the establishment of so many hotels. As early as 1846 it was reported that some 400 bullock drays were employed on the “Great North Road” to the Burra mine.

Richard Taylor

Please click here to see a list of publicans.

Click Here to read Tony's "History from the Globe Inn, 1851 to the Kingsford Hotel, 2017".

We thank Tony for his contribution.

Also see

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