The Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney 1870s.
Mystery sword discovery in hotel basement
WHEN the old Royal Hotel in George Street Sydney was demolished and preperation began on a replacement building in 1928, workers found an old sword in a brick pit where once was its basement.
The old pub was demolsihed to make way for the Dymock’s Book Arcade, now a landmark retail building in Sydney.
The history of the site dates back to 1807, when Sergeant John Ricketts leased the site, and who sold it three years later for £57.
In 1817 the property was sold to Solomon Levey for £400, and in 1826 Barnett Levey became the owner at a cost of £1200. He built a mill, the front portion of the building being opened as the Royal Hotel in March, 1829.
Sydney’s first regular theatre began in the hotel, opening on December 26, 1832. And it was thought the sword may have been a stage ‘prop’, or could have belonged to an officer of the 50th or the 80th Regiment, members of which helped to fight the fire which destroyed the building on St Patrick’s Day, 1840.
In September 1840 Terry Hughes bought the site for £6500, with mortgages of £8500, and in, December the following year the new hotel was opened, but was not completed for several years.
In 1910 the Government Savings Bank purchased the historic property for £60,000. In 1914 the hotel license was cancelled, and the building was used as a Soldiers’ Club during the war years. In 1922 the property was bought by Dymocks for about £150,000.
The fate of the sword is unknown.