Park Gate Hotel, corner of George and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta, view of front exterior of two storey building with cars parked in front, ca. 1913. (Object Number LSP00701)
Park Gate Hotel was once located on the south-east corner of George and O’Connell Street, Parramatta, New South Wales, opposite the George Street Tudor Gatehouse to Parramatta Park. The photo above is from our Local Studies Library Photograph Collection. It was originally published in the book The Jubilee History of Parramatta : in commemoration of the first half-century of Municipal Government, 1861-1911 on page 195.
The original land grant owner was William Charles Wentworth with 1 acres 26.5 perches which he later leased out to James Smith.
The earliest mention of Park Gate Hotel in Parramatta appears in 1879 when Annie Cripps nee Willis purchased it for £7,000. Her husband was John Fisher Cripps, a confectioner who once managed The Coffee Palace Hotel in lower Pitt Street and George Street, Sydney before it was burnt down. Their son, John Fisher Cripps, Junior was the proprietor and manager.
Back in Old Parramatta, there was a tram stop right along George Street until 31 March 1943. This convenience was highlighted in early advertisements published in Parramatta River : steamers & tramways guide, in addition to promoting ‘J.F. Cripps, Jun.’s Park Gate Hotel’ as a place for ‘families, wedding and other parties’. Cripps also applied for and was granted a billiard license.
On 20 February 1893, the hotel license was transferred to Rowland Nicolle. This was followed by a succession of publican license transfers including:
Saturday 1 July 1893
|Friday 31 December 1897||William John Sullivan|
|Wednesday 31 August 1898||Charles Ed. Shepherd|
|Wednesday 6 November 1901||Henry Lillyman – “Lillyman’s Park Gate Hotel”|
|1904||Ernest Crook (late of Coonamble) Telephone: 158|
|1905||Sarah Ellen Bignell (late of Manning River)|
|1908||William Doughan (formerly of Glen Innes and Newcastle)|
|Wednesday 26 May 1909||Mrs Sarah Doughan (widow of William Doughan)|
|Wednesday 29 August 1909||John Louis Mansergh|
|Monday 20 December 1909||Thomas Condon|
|Wednesday 23 March 1910||Victor Patrick O’Neill (formerly of Port Macquarie)|
|Wednesday 14 December 1910||Edwin Woodbury. Note: his wife fell 16 feet out of the window|
|Monday 20 February 1911||John Kohler|
|Wednesday 9 August 1911||Charles George Hadley (former licensee of Tattersall’s Hotel, Parramatta)|
|Monday 28 April 1913||Elizabeth Barber (a widow)|
|Wednesday 20 May 1914||Ernest John Nash and his mother.|
|Around 1917||Colin Campbell McPherson|
|Mon 16 December 1918||Matilda Murray. Note: Although Murray signed a 9 years lease, as she defied quarantine proclamations for hotels in Central Cumberland to close during the prevalence of the epidemic and failed to act on agreed improvements|
|Monday 5 May 1919||Shiloh Wrate Standing. Signed a 8.5 years lease and agreed to make improvements. After 18 months, licence was transferred in October 1920.|
|October 1920||John Stephen Beasley|
|1923||Edwin Gentle – “Gentle’s Park Gate Hotel”|
In 1923, it was put on the market for lease by Raine & Horne and described as
“This well-known and old-established Hotel is solidly constructed of brick, part of the building is of 3 floors, and part 2 floors. It has spacious verandahs. Contains about 20 rooms and offices. The property is let on lease, at a rental of £5 per week. Further particulars on application to the auctioneers.”
In 1927, Harry Herbert Gadd controversially transferred the publican licence from the Park Gate Hotel in Parramatta to Belmore.
During the 1930s, the Gleeson family leased the property for nine years and it was renamed the ‘Park Gate Guest House’. Advertisements from the time promote is as a ‘first class accommodation’ with ‘motor garages’ and a telephone number UW8990.
The Park Gate Guest House continued to operate until 1959 when it was mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald that the site was to be demolished on short notice. At the time it had 30 rooms and from a 1953 L.J. Hooker order of sale notice was described as being a
“block of five Self-contained Flats, a Shop and Flat. Guest Houses and Garage.”
At present, the site is occupied by The Garfield Barwich Commonwealth Law Courts Building. The address has changed to 1-3 George Street, Parramatta. This building is a Ken Woolley (architect) building, which was completed in 1987 and is part of the Parramatta Justice Precinct and named after Sir Garfield Barwich. If you are interested, it is also featured in the book Ken Woolley: Selected and Current Works by Ken Woolley, Archer, Morlock and Woolley on pages 124-127.
 New South Wales. Department of Lands (1961). Map of the town of Parramatta and suburban and adjacent lands : Parishes of St. John and Field of Mars, County of Cumberland, Metropolitan Land District (4th ed). N.S.W. Dept. of Lands, Sydney. Retrieved from http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/43088115 http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-233303911/view
 Coffee Palace, No. 2. (1880, July 17). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 24 ; Noyce, D. (2012). Coffee Palaces in Australia: A Pub with No Beer. M/C Journal, 15(2). Retrieved from http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/464
 The Flu and the Hotels. At the police court. Defying the proclamation (1919, March 5). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 2 ; Price Publicans Have to Pay: … Troubled waters (1919, May 3). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 10.
 ‘To brewers, week-enders and others. 1. Parramatta. The Park Gate Hotel.’ [Real estate auction sale advertisement] (1923, December 19). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 18, col. 4.
Mayor’s admission: received £50 cheque. (1927, July 16). The Maitland Daily Mercury, p. 4 ; Mayor’s admission: received £50 cheque, after giving evidence in liquor case. (1927, July 23). The Maitland Weekly Mercury, p. 10 ; £50 cheque: received by a Mayor: after giving evidence. (1927, July 16). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 15 ; Historic hotel: puts up the shutters (1928, September 20). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 4 ; [Under instructions from Mr. Harry Harry Herbert Gadd (owing to the transfer of the license) [Advertisement] (1928, September 27). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 5, col. 2.
 Park gate guest house: first class accommodation [Board & residence advertisement] (1930, March 6). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 8 ; Park Gate Guest House [Auction sale advertisement] (1938, September 21). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, p. 7, col. 1 ; Week by week (1939, June 16). South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, p. 15, col. 1, para. 11.
 ‘Next Tuesday, 10.15am Parramatta. Short notice. Most extensive auction sale at Park Gate (30 rooms) Guest House‘ [Auction sale advertisement], (1959, May 2). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 26, col. 5. ; ‘Tomorrow, Tuesday 10.15am Parramatta. Short notice. Most extensive auction sale at Park Gate (30 rooms) Guest House’ [Auction sale advertisement], (1959, May 4). Sydney Morning Herald, p. 15.
 [L.J. Hooker Limited… Order of Sale No. 4] Advertising (1953, May 18). The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 10.
 Stephen Dobney, ed. (1999) ‘Commonwealth law courts‘, in Ken Woolley, Ancher, Mortlock & Woolley: selected and current Works, Mulgrave, VIC: The Images Publishing Group, pp. 124-127.
Anne Tsang, Research Assistant, Parramatta Heritage Centre, City of Parramatta, 2016