Shannon and Shamrock Hotel 1866 - 1926

327 Bank Street, South Melbourne
MEL: 2J K4


The Shannon and Shamrock Hotel was established in 1866.  Its first licensee was T Mornane. An auction on 7 September 1867 advertised that a good tenant occupied the hotel.  Architects Hennessy and Lalor designed additions in 1871. At a later auction on 6 July 1874, the proprietor relinquished the business, along with furniture and stock, but the Mornane family remained publicans until 1877. The Rate Books of 1887 list a four-roomed timber building, but the following year it was obviously rebuilt by then-owner Patrick Mornane. It is described as a twelve-room brick building and is evidently this building that has remained.  A freestanding, narrow, three storeyed structure, it is visually distinctive for its height amongst a street, which is otherwise relatively low rise.  The building has also retained its rendered nameplate ‘The Shamrock’ and its motif of a shamrock.  It is atypical of Melbourne hotel design in the 1880s, largely because the use of red brick and render mouldings across the façade recall Victorian architecture.

Bob Powell and his wife Anastasia, who would later take over the Railway Hotel, ran the Shannon and Shamrock from 1908 until it was de-licensed and closed on 31 December 1926.  Powell was known to be stringent about the quality of the pipes and the hotel had an excellent reputation for quality beer. In 2003, it is the site of Spider Eye Web Design Studio.


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