Inns of Little Hartley

public houses



Collitts Family






 The  Inn that was recorded as being The Rising Sun built in 1835 and run by John Skeen  and Amelia (Collits) then The Bridge  Inn built in 1836 and run by Thomas Rawsthorne and  Sophie (Collits) which changed its name to the Kings Arms in 1837. Billesdene Grange was also owned by the Collits Family. . Rose inn was first licensed to Joseph Collits in 1846.    According to the  topography of the land,  once the Victoria Pass was opened it is possible to assume that there was an Inn directly at the base of the Pass  which is near both Rosedale and Nioka and one on the first bend  in the vicinity of Billesdene Grange  which is also stated to have  remnants from the 1830’s  


During the construction of the Pass for 2 years from 1830 to 1832 the access to the convicts and their overseers  was still down the road from Coxes Road Area or Lawsons Long Alley and the road skirted around the base of the mountain escarpment.


There is evidence of footings from around 1830 at the site of Nioka which once was The Farrier Arms  ran by James Bergin from 1856 till 1866 when Robert Kirk took over for a year then James  resumed from 1868 till 1870. 

Both Farriers Arms Site and Billesdene Grange Site  on a painting of the  stockade would have been used for good observation positions. 


There was a stockade from 1830 till around 1845

John Skeen was appointed as overseer at the Mt Victoria Stockade and  he was responsible for  over 100 men  to clear away the trees to make way for the construction of the road.   Engineers were then bought in to  create the two bridges from sandstone cut from the blasted rock of the mountainside.  Stonemasons as well as laborers numbers would have swelled to around 300 and up to 500 men would have been utlized over the two year period  to construct this great Pass.   In early 1833 the stockade was disbanded and moved on further towards Bathurst, but a smaller infrastructure was left in place to undertake the completion of the road.  This continued well after 1839.  

Mitchell laid out the plan for the Administrative Centre Town of Hartley  and so the next stockade at Hassan Walls  closure to this location was more military in its structure. 


The hive of activity that was evident at “little Hartley” then moved on to “Big Hartley” as was both locations called. 

It was probable that there were two Inns on the Bottom of the pass for the  travelers moving out to Bathurst and  the left hand side of the road two more Inns.




James  Bergen arrived in the colony in 1815 aged 32 from Queen County, Ireland.  He was married at Hartley on the 13th Nov 1848 to Sarah Calgan, of Elfin, County Roscommen, Ireland  and they had  seven children Mary in 1850, James in 1851, John in 1853, Bernard in 1855, Patrick in 1858, William in 1860 and Thomas in 1863. 


He ran the Farriers Arms Inn as a coaching inn at Little Hartley on the Bathurst Road, next door to the Mt Victoria Inn, until it was closed  in 1868.   It is currently known as Nioka.


To be question is the report  the following:  Between 1857 and 1877 Nioka was Licensed to the Delaneys of Rosedale.


 It is   thought  that Nioka is built on footings of an Inn from the 1830's . The current Nioka is thought to be built in the years  1876-1877



Nioka in the 1960's when the road went straight pas the front door.



Hugh  Beattie married and Mary Rolston  and lived at  Windsor, NSW where he was a farmer.  Three of their children were born in this area before they moved to Hill End near Bathurst as the lure of riches enticed them  to the gold fields. They must have acquired some rewards for then they moved to Hartley and acquired 100 acres of  land on the Bathurst Road in 1857 where they built 2 small cottages one for their house and the other as a small inn,  (Alfred was born was they were living there).   They sold the land and the cottages to  George & Elizabeth Jarvis who then enlarged the cottage and this became known as the Kerosene Inn run by John Meade.  Today it is run as Mead’s Farm.



Photos:   Kerosene Cottage in 1872      and Kerosene Inn



Rosedale Inn / Mt Victoria Inn/Coach & Horses


The village/township of Hartley in the 1870's

1872. The Hartley Courthouse had a building beside it as well as a small bark hut.  To the right of the Court house is another bark hut.

The road appears to come from the Royal Hotel down to the Court house then off towards Glenroy Crossing.  (Any further information would be appreciated.)

Identified by Mrs. Paridaens, custodian of Hartley Courthouse, 1972. At the time an hotel had to have a lamp and sign outside (?). Oct. 1983 a National Parks ranger said the building was an hotel, then an Anglican rectory and then an hotel again. The building was the Albion Hotel (1846), an Anglican rectory in the 1850's and the Royal Hotel in the 1860's (Aust. heritage)