Darlington’s Britannia Hotel in Sydney’s inner-west was named after convict ship

The New Britannia, now a licensed restaurant on Cleveland Street, Darlington. Picture: Mick Roberts Collection.
The Britannia Hotel, Cleveland Street, Darlington, 1930. Picture: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

NOW operating as a pizza restaurant, with a licensed bar, the Britannia Hotel was built in 1879 on land purchased by William Hutchinson in 1845.

Located on busy Cleveland Street in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Darlington, the pub sits on land that was originally part of the 95ha land grant of William Chippendale.

The mid Victorian Britannia Hotel was established to cater for the surrounding working class residents and labourers toiling in the local industries.

The pub was named after the convict ship Britannia in honour of William Hutchison’s first wife, Mary Cooper (Chapman), who arrived in Sydney in 1798, having been sentenced to 14 years in the colony of New South Wales. She married Hutchison in Sydney in 1811.

William Hutchinson willed the property to his daughter, Elizabeth Bowman and the pub remained in that family until 1889. Robert Hudson then bought the land. He was the son of William Hudson, who had established a joinery business in Redfern, building railway carriages for the NSW Government.

Tooth and Company brewery leased the building in 1910, and built the two storey masonry wing to the rear. In 1915, after the death of Robert Hudson, the hotel was inherited by his children. In 1926 it was transferred into the company name of the Chippendale Estate.

Britannia Hotel Redfern 1936
The Britannia Hotel, Darlington 1936. Picture: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

The awning was erected in 1933 by Tooth & Company at the same time the lower part of the facade was tiled. These were later replaced by the current tiles on the building.

Tooth and Company bought the pub in 1947 and owned it until 1982.

The building was purchased by Mavis Wong in 2009, who had it restored to its current condition.

The Britannia Hotel, Darlington, 1970. Picture: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

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