Golden Gate Hotel 1853 -

238 Clarendon Street, corner Coventry Street, South Melbourne
MEL: 2K C1



Golden Gate Hotel, 1940



Golden Gate Hotel, 1981


Golden Gate Hotel, 2004


The Golden Gate Hotel was built in 1853, although on 19 December 1854, a license was refused.  It was eventually granted to William Ashling on 24 April 1855.  Ashling was a member of Emerald Hill’s Local Council.

The Golden Gate replaced the Myrtle Hotel as the most popular meeting spot for local societies and clubs.  Catherine Ellis, a licensed brick maker and alleged heavy drinker, lived in a two-roomed timber house and kiln behind the hotel in 1856.

In 1864, the Donaldson brothers tendered for additions to the hotel.  On 19 May of that year, the community celebrations of the marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, involved the erection of an arch that spanned the roads between the Golden Gate and the Royal Hotel.

An advertisement in the local paper The Record (17 June 1881) announced a billiard tournament where two silver cups – one for each table – were offered as prizes.

The entrance to the Golden Gate was blockaded on 6 September 1890 after a football match between South Melbourne and Carlton. Proprietor Henry Skinner’s had been provisioning of catering to non-unionists at the gas works during the mercantile, seamen and wharf workers’ strike of that year.  The Golden Gate was both Skinner’s home and the base for his burgeoning and ultimately wildly successful catering business.  Skinner was a well-known name in the community: he was president of the South Melbourne Football Club (1904-11), fundraised on a large scale for sports clubs and won the Melbourne South seat on the Legislative Council in September 1911, only five months before his death.  Skinner was so mourned by the community of which he had been such a generous sponsor and patron, that a statue was erected in his memory at the South Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Golden Gate is still a popular hotel in South Melbourne.


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