Albion Inn/Royal Hotel Hartley

The Albion Inn at Hartley Township was constructed around 1841.  The Licensee's for this inn are

1841/42   David Anderson 

1843-6     John Tait 

1853        James Nair 

1853        Jacob Meyers 

1854        Denis Mahoney 


NOTICE.-MR. DAVID ANDERSON, late of the Albion Inn, Hartley, (Vale of Clywd), begs to return his most sincere thanks to his friends and the public, for the very liberal encouragement that be has received for the last three years, and begs to inform them that he has disposed of his business to Mr. John Tait, and particularly recommends him to their encouragement, as he is confident, from his ex- perience, that every thing will be conducted on the best principle possible for the comfort of travellers.

 Hartley July 8. 1221

Tuesday 25 July 1843

Tuesday 25 July 1843

THE undersigned begs to inform the inhabitants of Hartley, and the public generally, that he has taken those premises, lately occu- pied by Mr. David Anderson, known by the Albion Inn, Hartley, (Vale of Clwyd), and trusts that the public will favour him with the same encouragement so liberally bestowed on his predecessor.

In soliciting the public for their support, he begs to assure them that it will be his constant study and attention to promote the comfort of travellers, and those who may favour him with their support. The house is well situated, and the cellars well stocked with the choicest wines, spiritr, &c, &c, &c., which he can con- fidently recommend.


N. B.-Strict attention paid to the stabling, and moderate charges.

 Hartley  July 8. 1223


Saturday 18 July 1846 from Bathurst...

Passing by the Black Bull Inn two or three days since, some surprise was excited at finding the doors shut , and no admittance for strangers ; on' enquiring,' however, we round Mr. Haynes, the late-Boniface, had resigned; arid is, we understand, to be sucteeded by Mr. John' Taite, late of the Albion Inn, Hartley , who has had to make application for a special license, and expects authority to open in a few days, and is now busily employed in making preparation for the day of warfare. We hear that, the; proprietor is under engagement with the new tenant to make various alterations, and adtlitions to the premises that, when completed, will add much to the comfort and accommodation of the visitors at the Black Bull.; amongst others, a billiard room has to be built, and for which Mr. Tait has provided' himself, .with a splendid tableland appurtenances, which we trust he will find a winning .spec. ... . w.



 Saturday 13 December 1845


AFIBST-BATE HUNTING SADDLE presented by Mr. John Tait, will be run.for on Christmas Day next, and another will be given for the 1st of January, 1840. The race will be open to Horses of all ages carrying 12 stone.

Entrances to be made previous to 1 o'clock r. M. on the morning of each race, at the Albion Inn, Hartley. /T

Other amusements it is anticipated will follow, amply to provide for thc entertainment of the com- pany assembled, particulars of which will be madeknown in thc, neighbourhood as early as"the pro-i gramme of sport is arranged^ .




MR JOHN PERRY, Conch Proprietor of . Penrith, respectfully begs to announce to the inhabitants of the Western districts and the public generally, that passengers, proceeding to .any of thc above localities will be conveyed every evening (Sunday, excepted) from 'Sydney to .Parramatta by Mr .Tohu Hilt's roach*ami from thence to' Penrith by ,I. P.'H Superior safe and c'otnpiodious conveyance, proceeding on to Uni t ley, and Bathurst every Monday, Wednesday, , nn'd Friday^

BOOKING OFFICES-Watts Spread Eagle,

 Gourge'-streer, Sydney

Peyton's, Australian Arms, Parramatta

The Commercial Hotel, "Penrith , . 

Mahoneys  Albion Inn Hartley   , and

Hansard's, Royal Oak Inn Bathurst. 9

Saturday 15 July 1854


Friday 28 November 1851


THE COACH ACCIDBNT. -After proceeding about a quarter of a mile from the Post Office, at the bend of the road, near Kendall's public house, the driver, Thomas Tyghe, brought the mail so close to the edge of the road that I be came alarmed, and should have jumped off, but before I had time, the near leader swerved, and the coach went over the bank. On coming to myself, I found that the chief constable and another gentleman had arrived, and were bleeding two of the passengers. By the exertions of the chief constable, and Mr. Nairn, of the Albion Inn, all who could ride were taken in a mail coach, others on shutters and beds in a dray, to the Albion Inn. The passengers who were thus conveyed to the inn, were -Mr. Galvin -whose life is despaired of, Mr. Moekitl, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Ellis, Mrs. Sawall and child, and Mrs. Hammond-who will proceed on to-day; Mr. Sullivan, who though seriously hurt is ., out of danger. Strange to say, the women escaped comparatively unhurt. Mrs. Hammond had an infant in arms, which also escaped. Mrs. Sawell's little girl received a; severe cut on the back of the head, but is doing well this morning. Mr. Noble went on. Mr. Chief Constable Hutchinson, and Mr. Finn, the storekeeper of Hartley are entitled to our thanks for their exertions -especially, the former, who left nothing undone, and was unremitting in his attention at the time and afterwards. Doctor Auld, who was,1 am informed, at Blackheath on his return from Pulpit Hill, where he had been attending to the passengers who were thrown put of the 'eooch at that place, was on the spot in about an hour after the accident. The Rev. Mr. M'Curthy has been in attendance on Mr, Gah in since the accident occurred, -Communicated by a Passenger.



BEGS to return his sincere thanks to his numerous friend sand customers for the very liberal support shown him during the three years he held the  Albion Inn, Hartley.  He now avails himself of the present opportunity of intimating that he bas taken those well-known premises,

THE " BLACK BULL,' Bathurst, lately occupied by Mr. James Haynes, and trusts, from his kind attention to the wants and comforts of travellers, and the" public' generally, to merit a share of their patronage. The wines and spirits will be found to be of the very best descrip- tion, and the stabling first-rate.

. Bathurst, July. . . 148

Saturday 1 August 1846



From  NSW Environment site:


James Nairn sold the Albion in 1853 due to the death of  his wife. The death notice for Margaret Nairn notes

that he ran the Hartley Hotel. As with the Rivulet Hotel previously mentioned, the name of the town often

appears to be given to a hotel, regardless of the name given by the current proprietor.

Dawson, in his study of the Royal Hotel notes that local legend has it that the Hartley Hotel was the inn on the

river bank.

A date of construction of the Royal has been established as being after Nairn took over the property

in 1846, probably when mortgages were taken out in 1848 and 1849.

Despite extensive research there is currently no documentary evidence to confirm that the Inn was licensed as the Royal. The description of the Rivulet Inn when sold in 1838 previously mentioned is very similar to the both the current Royal Hotel and the

description of the building sold in 1853.

Both buildings contain a cellar, parlours on the ground floor with bedrooms above. The other hotels along the Great Western Road are also similar in configuration.


The 1858 survey shows the building as being .Jarvis Inn, after the proprietor, however no documentation

regarding Jarvis has been discovered.

An inn named the Royal was listed as being in Hartley by the NSW Gazetteer in 1866 but there is no corresponding liquor license. Balliere lists a Royal Hotel in 1865 however its location has not been confirmed. A detailed study of the inns within the Hartley Valley, which is beyond the scope of this report, would help to identify the hotels and the time period over which they operated.

The Royal Hotel was actually a complex of buildings, with stables, a forge, kitchens and servants apartments located

to the rear of the main building. The outbuildings to the hotel no longer survive. The hotel contained a number

of parlours, at least one of which is likely to have been reserved for women travellers. It would appear from

Louisa Meredith.s 1839 description that even the married travellers were separated.55 As a practice the segregation

of the male and female accommodation and parlours in hotels in NSW has largely vanished. Physical evidence of

ladies parlours still survives in the layout of certain public houses, though generally no longer used as such.

The construction of the Royal Hotel indicates an optimism regarding the level of traffic on the Great Western Road.

The hotel is not located within the central precinct with the other inns, rather it is at the edge of the village. It

would have been a welcome sight to travellers. The hotel was not entirely successful in this location, ceasing to

operate as a hotel in the mid 1860s, prior to the opening  of the railway line.




JACOB MYERS, late of the White Horse Cellar, Sydney, and the Blue Mountain Inn, Bathurst Road, begs to inform his friends and the public m general that he has opened the well known house in Hartley, of the sign of the Albion Inn formerly kept by James Nairn. J M begs also to inform the public that he intends to conduct his establishment in his usual style. 487

Monday 17 October 1853





Friday 2 December 1853


NOVEMBER 28th. - A coroner's inquest was held this day, the 28th instant, at Mr. Jacob Myers', the Albion Inn, Hartley, by Mr. Thomas Brown, coroner for the district of  Hartely, on the body of Thomas Fitzpatrick.

Jacob Myers deposed that on Sunday evening, between 6 and 7 o'clock, the deceased was brought to his house in a cart, he having been one of the passengers that was in the man at the time it capsized down the precipice of Mount Victoria. Witness provided a place for the deceased, he being so severely injured, and sent for Mr. Finn, the storekeeper, in Hartley  he being the only person near at hand who understood medical treatment, and also attended the deceased until Dr. Connell came from Bathurst. The deceased never spoke a word; when he was brought to the house he  was quite insensible; but during the time he  was alive he pointed to the spot where he was most injured; when he came to my house, I found £55 14s. 9d., also a silver watch and chain in his possession, which I handed over to the deceased's wife when she came from Bathurst; the morning after the deceased came  to my house, Dr. Witt was passing; I called  him in to see the deceased, and he said all that could be done for him was to give him some opening medicine, which I gave him according to direction. When the other passengers came to my house, I asked them if there was any blame attached to the coachman ; they said there was none, and they gave the coachman a   written document, stating that the coachman had done all in his power to prevent the accident ; I witnessed their signatures to the same document.

Thomas Simons deposed : I was coachman and driver of the mail on Sunday, the 20th instant, from Penrith to Hartley; on Sunday, the  20th instant, between 4 and 5 o'clock P.M , I was driving over Mount Victoria, and had five passengers besides myself; the coach is licensed  to carry five passengers; on my arrival at the  top of the hill it is my usual practice to request the passengers to walk down the hill; they  declined, saying there was no necessity of doing so, unless the driver walked; as this was impossible for me to do, I requested the deceased who was beside me on the box, to be good enough to get off and ride behind to take the weight off the horses' backs; he got off accordingly and took his seat in the after part of the coach; I then drove on, and just as we were  coming over the platform down the steep descent (I had an entire horse and a black mare, the entire as outrigger) the mare began to kick; there was a storm at the time, and making the roads very slippery, the mare began to kick for two or three rods, which made the horses go in a trot; I lost all control of  them, and they plunged; the mare being on  the near side, pushed the off side leader down the precipice, taking the other two horses with them, coach, and four passengers, and myself;   one passenger jumped out behind on the bank as the coach was going over the precipice; I   was in the coach when she capsized down the bank; when I recovered myself I saw three of   the passengers slightly injured; I asked where  were the other passengers, and they said down the gully; I then went to where he was lying, and tried to lift him up, he said quite faintly " don't" two or three times;   I then asked the other passengers to come and assist me to raise him, which we did; there  was a gentleman on a horse on the bank; I  asked him to go to Jones's public house, and tell him to send a cart for the passenger that was so much injured; I also went myself to  Jones's, thinking that the person I asked would not go, and I came with the cart where the accident had happened; at the time of the  accident all the horses that were in the coach were all old stage horses that have been travelling over the mountains for some considerable time; had there been a three-rail fence at this  particular spot the accident would not have occurred; it is also the narrowest part on Mount Victoria and also the most dangerous;     I have been driving coaches on the mountains for this last two or three years; there were three horses killed out of the four, and the coach broke in several pieces.

David Jones deposed: I keep an inn at the   foot of Mount Victoria; between four and five  o'clock on Sunday evening, the 20th instant, a gentleman came to my house and informed me that the mail had capsized on Mount Victoria, and if I would take a cart to fetch the passengers; just as I was getting the horse in the cart,   Thomas Simons, the coachman, came and went with me where the accident had happened; I also took six men with me that were camping near my house, to assist me in getting the injured persons in the cart; when I came where the accident had happened, I went down the precipice; I then called the other  men to assist me in carrying the deceased into the cart, as I found him the only one severely injured; we placed him in the cart and took him to Mr. Jacob Myers's house, in Hartley, thinking that medical aid could be got sooner than where I live; the place where the accident happened is the narrowest and the most dangerous on Mount Victoria, and if there had been a three rail fence at that particular spot the accident would not have occurred; when   the coachman came to my house he was perfectly sober.

Verdict - That the deceased came by his death accidentally, by upsetting of the coach, caused by not having a fence at this particular spot; and desire the coroner to report   it to the authorities to place a fence on the dangerous parts on Mount Victoria.


In 1853  Nairn put the Albion inn up for sale.


FOR SALE, by private contract, that well known substantial stone building, known as the Albion Inn, Hartley. It is situated on the banks of the rivulet, and commands a never failing supply of pure water, and situated on the direct road to Bathurst and the Turon. It is licensed and in full trade. The present proprietor, in consequence of a recent family bereavement, is about to retire from business.


which is built of stone, measures 75 feet by 36, and contains 3 parlours, 4 bed-rooms, bar, and tap-room and double cellar, with a spacious verandah. The rooms are all lofty, being 11 ft. from floor to ceiling, and well ventilated.


are exceedingly spacious, of the same height as the other rooms, and aré decidedly superior to anything of the kind from Sydney to Bathurst.


measures 80 ft. by 9 ft., flagged with freestone and ceiled, and is in every respect in character with the magnificent building to which lt is attached.


capable of storing 600 tons of goods.


A detached kitchen with servants' apartment attached


are in first-rate condition ; one a nine-stalled stable, slabbed, weatherboarded, and flagged, with loft ; also two out stables, 4 stalls each, shingled, and sheds attached. There is also a blacksmith's shop, with full complement of tools, and is under a rental of £25 per year.


which is of a superior description, an I consists of everything requisite for a first-rate establishment, will be sold by public competition if not sold by private contract, previous to next transfer day.

The premises will be ready for inspection from the 10th of August, and possession can be given next transfer day.

For further particulars, apply to Mr. NAIRN, Albion Inn, Hartley. 2301



N A I R N 'S  H O T E L 


It would appear that the Royal Garter or Rivulet Hotel at the River Lett bridge continued to be licensed until the mid 1850s operating as the Albion Inn (c.1843-1846) and the Hartley Hotel (c.1846-49). Two hotels were licensed in Hartley by 1853, the Albion and the Coach and Horses. Unfortunately there are no licensing records for 1849 until 1853. The 1858 survey, AO Map 3104 records the proprietors names rather than the names of the hotels.

The former Royal Hotel is generally thought to have  been built as the Albion Hotel, with the building at River Lett being Young's Coach and Horses. This decision has been based on a description of the Albion contained in the 1853 advertisement for the sale of the Inn. The internal layout and form of the building is similar to that described for the building now known as the Royal Hotel.

The advertisement describes: that well known and substantial stone building known as the Albion Inn, Hartley. It is situated on the banks of the rivulet, and commands a never failing supply of

pure water, and situated on the direct road to Bathurst and the Turon


TAIT, JOHN (1813-1888), racehorse owner and trainer, was born on 5 November 1813 at Melrose near Edinburgh, son of Robert Tait, jeweller and engraver, and his wife Margaret, née Maitland. Trained as a jeweller he with his wife Janet, née Buchanan (d.1880), and daughter, reached Hobart Town in the Hindo on 2 November 1837 and opened a business. He   moved to New South Wales and in June 1843 became the licensee of the Albion Inn, Hartley, and in 1847 took over the Black Bull Inn at Bathurst. Strong and wiry, his 'great skill as a boxer' enabled him to cope with his rougher patrons.

John Tait acquired a string of racehorses and has been regarded as the first professional race horse owner as a business operation.   After  acquiring fine horses from Thomas Icely of Coombing Park. and Mr Lee of Bylong, he engaged  trainers and jockeys.

John Tait ran the Black Bull Inn from 1847 till past 1850. 

John Tait (1813 - 1888), by unknown engraver, 1888, courtesy of La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. IAN23/06/88/118. .

 Mr. Tait's Horses


Old Scratch


The Quack