HISTORIC MOMENT: The Hotel Kerwick in Redbank is one of 18 new places added to the city's heritage register this week.
HISTORIC MOMENT: The Hotel Kerwick in Redbank is one of 18 new places added to the city's heritage register this week. David Nielsen

Mystery surrounds hotel now on council's heritage list

TWO more iconic Ipswich hotels have officially been added to the city's heritage register and there's a bit of mystery around one.

The Kerwick Hotel at Redbank, and The Strand Hotel at North Ipswich, are among 18 new additions to the council's Heritage Character Places list.

Ipswich City Council officially added the mix of hotels, churches, school buildings and shops to the list at this week's council meeting, following community consultation earlier this year.

There's no doubt the buildings are an iconic part of Ipswich's history but the early days of the Kerwick Hotel are a bit of a mystery.

 

Formal portrait family of the Kenwicks.Left to right: Margaret Kerwick (Fennelly), Mary Gorman, Daniel Gorman, Cecelia Cole, Nicholas Kerwick.
Formal portrait family of the Kenwicks.Left to right: Margaret Kerwick (Fennelly), Mary Gorman, Daniel Gorman, Cecelia Cole, Nicholas Kerwick. John Oxley Library

Today's publican Aaron Mullan says no one really knows exactly when the original hotel was built, but he's happy to see the hotel added to the city's heritage register anyway.

The hotel is thought to be named after its first owner, Nicholas Kerwick, who was born in Ireland, but lived in Redbank and was well-known.

Nicholas Kerwick's obituary in the Queensland Times, dated April 1938, refers to him only as the licensee of the One Mile Hotel, West Ipswich.

That licence was granted in May 1913.

"It's great that it has been added. Most people think it was already on there," Mr Mullan, who took over the Kerwick Hotel about four years ago, said.

"We know that Nicholas Kerwick and his mother were the first licensees but the actual build date is a mystery. We believe the hotel to be about 103 to 106 years old."

A newspaper article printed in the Queensland Times, dated April 19, 1909 shows a Mrs Margaret Kerwick - Nicholas Kerwick's wife - lodged an application in the Goodna Licensing Court for a "provisional certificate for a hotel in Redbank".

An article published in July, however, states the application was refused with community concerns there were already enough lodgings for the 400 residents, including the 200 meat workers.

By March 1910, however, two more hotels were under construction; one for a Mrs Seeney and the other for a Mr Kerwick, presumably Paul Kerwick, who had successfully applied for a licence to build a hotel, which he intended to call the Railway Hotel, that would be rented to Margaret Kerwick.

Mrs Seeney opened the Commercial Hotel.

In March 1924, a dispute between two men over the sale of the Kerwick Hotel ended up in the Supreme Court, according to a newspaper article.

The case was a dispute between Sydney Warren Thomas, the owner of Hotel Kerwick, who agreed to sell the premises to Thomas Hennessy for £1400.

Hennessy had only paid £600.

The two men disagreed with Hennessy, claiming Mr Thomas had overstated the hotel's takings.

Do you know more about this hotel's history? Tell us, email qt@qt.com.au

Now on the heritage list

  • Duce House and Pergola
  • Lutvey's shop
  • Blair State School
  • Kerwick Hotel
  • Doyle House
  • Hebron Gospel
  • Ipswich Kindergarten
  • Dinmore Murri Baptist Church
  • Brassall State School, Blocks A, B and C
  • St Joseph's Primary School, fence balusters
  • Goodna Neighbourhood House
  • Rhondda Office and Carport
  • Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church
  • St John's Lutheran Church
  • Salvation Army Citadel
  • Jordan Village Pensioners' Cottages
  • Strand Hotel
  • Raceview Congregational Church


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