Murdoch’s Hotel, Morwell

Murdochs Hotel Morwell Victoria 1897

Mr. Wm. Murdoch, the well-known proprietor of this hotel, is one of the oldest residents of Morwell, and his interests have been wholly identified with the welfare of the town and district ever since his settlement here. He has always had the greatest faith in the prosperity of the town, and he has ever been foremost in all movements, social and political, that would tend to its advancement, or the promotion of kindly spirit amongst the inhabitants.

That the opinion he thus formed was a sincere one, is evidenced by the amount of capital he has invested in the town and district property, and this very substantial building, completed in thoroughness of detail, deserves especial mention, as we are sure it has no equal in style and finish in Gippsland. This building was commenced in October last by the contractor, Mr. W. Tulloch.

Excellent foundation was provided of brick and cement, backed up with puddled clay in such a manner, as to render any part of it impervious to moisture.

The foundations throughout are 18in of brick work under 9in. walls, and 2ft. under 14in, walls. There is a magnificent, thoroughly dry, and well-ventilated cellar of 25ft. x 15ft., across which to support the parti-walls, is an iron girder firmly bedded on brick piers. In the main building on the ground floor are five grand rooms including the bar, with ceilings 12ft. in height.

In the second story are 11 rooms, all commodious and excellently finished in a manner that will be subsequently referred to. The building is situated i Commercial Road, Morwell, and occupies a space of 67ft., immediately facing the railway station, from which it will be seen to the very best advantage, as soon as the present goods-shed is re-moved. Entrance to the yard is obtained from the front under an archway, and the rooms on the upper story are enabled to occupy the whole front space. The whole of the outside walls is 14in. brick-work. The bricks were made by Mr. Murdoch, on his property on the other side of the line, and are of a good quality.

The front possesses a very nice taking appearance, being red brick neatly tuck-pointed, with cement architraces round all doors and windows, with a balcony in the centre of the building projecting the full width of the footpaths (12ft.,) and supported by iron columns. The corners are also cemented, as also a parapet wall, which is sur-mounted by a circular pedment, bearing the freemasons’ coat of arms, under the date 1887, below which in block cement letters is the word, “Murdoch’s Hotel.” From the ground to the top of the parapet wall is a height of 30ft.

The manner in which the building is decorated, and the balcony frieze work picked out in French grey, reflects great credit on the artistic taste displayed by the proprietor.

There are three doorways on the ground floor, opening into the building, which, with the large double sash windows, relieve the slightest tendency to blankness. Upon the upper floor access is obtained to the balcony (where by the way we hope, shortly and frequently, to hear the local brass band discoursing sweet strains of music, for the enjoyment of the public), by means of a doorway in the centre, on each side of which are four large double sash windows. The whole of these windows on both floors are fitted with venetian blinds, which impart a very effective and pleasing appearance.

The rooms throughout the whole building preset a very airy, well-ventilated, and cheerful look, being all splendidly finished in the highest degree of art. The magnificent centre-pieces, tiled grates, marble mantels on all fire-place, and magnificent chandeliers attracting most attention. On the lower floor is the dining hall, a splendid room, 33 by 17 feet, the lower part being stained a russet color dado fashion. The bar-room is exceedingly well lighted and splendidly fitted. There is a lobby at the entrance, and the bar-room is much more secluded than is the wonted custom, of allowing the passer-by an opportunity of scanning the whole room at a glance. It is quite needless to say that all the appointments, even to electric bells are in the most richerche style. The dining, parlor, and drawing-room suites are all made to order. The chairs are of rosewood, either cretonne or morocco covered. The beds are all spring, and extra thick kapok matrasses, the floors suitably carpeted, &c. In fact, the whole inner appearance bespeaks the most superior accommodation for visitors, which can not be surpassed. Visitors to Morwell cannot be otherwise than struck with the “tout ensemble” presented, and its outward appearance and accommodation is in no way belied in its internal arrangements, which combine the maxi-mum of comfort, with moderate charges, and courteous attention from the enter-prising proprietor. Much credit is due to the contractor, Mr. W. Tulloch for the faithful manner in which the building is completed, and all the details so thoroughly worked out. Not the least share should be allowed to the skilful architect, who designed the building, and the works’ overseer, Mr. Mackay, under whose supervision the whole was carried out.

–  Morwell Advertiser and Weekly Chronicle Saturday 24 March 1888. 


Murdoch’s Hotel is a well-known house, which was built by Mr Murdoch and has always retained the name. The present licensee is Mr Chas. Davey. Who has been in Morwell five years, and previous to that kept hotels in Albury and Yea. The hotel is immediately opposite the railway station, and is a two-story building, with a handsome frontage to the main street. The accommodation is ample and excellent, for the building contains eighteen bedrooms, besides sit-ting rooms and parlors. The commercial room is upstairs, and is well furnish-ed and cosy, and on the prime floor, and adjacent to the bedrooms, is a good sized bathroom. The verandah on the main street is decorated with tree ferns and from this, overlooking the railway station, a beautiful view is obtained of the famous Baw Baw Mountains, which when snow-capped present a charming picture. The dining room is on the ground floor, and while the traveller is ruminating over his grill his eye is charmed with some handsome landscape painting which have been artistically worked in tin- recesses, and makes of the dining hall a handsome room. The bar is well looked after, and is stocked with choice brands of wines and spirits, flood stables are kept for the convenience of farmers, horses and buggies are also to be hired at the hotel and there is also a large and well-appointed billiard room.

-Weekly Times Saturday November 20 1897.

Murdoch’s Hotel was sold to Woolworth’s in July 1964, closed for business on August 29, and was demolished the following month to make way for the department store.


Categories: Australian Hotels

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