Great Britain Hotel 1861 – 1864?

398 Clarendon Street, corner Napier Street, South Melbourne
MEL: 2K D3


In 1841 an Irish farm servant Matthew Toohey, his wife Honora and their young son John left Limerick to build a new life in Melbourne.  After several years raising beef in the Victorian cattle country and establishing the Limerick Arms Hotel, Toohey became the first publican of the Great Britain Hotel in 1861. 

    After property prices slumped, the Tooheys moved to Sydney, where in 1872, John Toohey and his younger brother James would launch the Darling Brewery, and its famous successor Tooheys Standard Brewery that remains a famous and powerful company today.  This brick hotel was auctioned on 11 May 1864 and advertised as ‘compact, well-built and nearly new’ and comprising six rooms, large bar and a good stone cellar.  By 1968, it was a draper shop.  In 1981, it was a pharmacy.  In 2003, it was the site of Corporate Copying, a printing shop, and in 2004 it is being re-developed.



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