Newcastle’s three ‘Great Northerns’

Great Northern Hotel Newcastle

The first Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, ND. Photo: The Newcastle Sun

Great Northern Hotel Newcastle 1920s anu

The second Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, 1920s. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

The current Great Northern Hotel at Newcastle opened in 1938. It’s the third hotel of the same name to occupy the site, its predecessors having been in operation since 1864.

The hotel was designed by Sydney architects Rudder and Grout and built by contractors Kell and Rigby. It reopened in 2018 after a number of closures in recent years in the latest attempt to revive the art deco hotel, which has been beset by legal battles, closures and building issues dating back to before the 1989 Newcastle earthquake.

Perched on the corner of Watt and Scott streets facing Newcastle harbour, The Great Northern Hotel has long been a landmark.

The first hotel on the site diagonally opposite the Newcastle rail station was built by Dangar Gedye and Company in 1864. Its first distinguished guest was Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, who also stayed there during his visit to Newcastle in 1868.

The current pub was completed in January 1938 using 700,000 bricks in January 1938.


Great Northern Hotel Newcastle 1937

The current Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle under construction, complete with “temporary bar” 1937.

Great Northern Hotel Newcastle 1930s ANU

3. The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle 1938. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

Great Northern Hotel 2018

The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle 2018. Photo: ‘Newtown grafitti from Sydney, Australia’, Wikipedia.

Categories: Newcastle hotels, NSW hotels


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