Huntsman Hotel

Huntsman Hotel

The former Huntsman Hotel is an impressive survivor from the halcyon days of South Australia’s boom of the early 1880s. It is typical of the city’s better-quality late 19th century developments, with substantial two-storey form, elaborate stuccoed dressings and contrasting squared sandstone. The robust if eccentric detailing to chimney tops and window surrounds, and especially the broken arch pediment with pendant swags, have no counterpart in the city. The design is by Rowland Rees, who in partnership with Patterson, advertised tenders for the re building of the hotel in the South Australian Register of October 2, 1882.

While the structure is of obvious architectural interest, the relatively high integrity of the building and its corner location make this former hotel one of the most visually interesting buildings in North Adelaide. The hotel was erected for the prominent brewers W.H. Beaglehole, J. Johnston and J.M. Gasquoine. Beaglehole, Johnston and Gasquoine also used the services of the architect for this hotel, Rowland Rees, in the rebuilding of the British Hotel in Finniss Street. Beaglehole, Johnston and Gasquoine's operations were renamed the Lion Brewing and Malting Co. Ltd. in 1892, this concern continuing to lease the structure for some years. Subsequently it was associated with the Walkerville Co-operative Brewing Co. Ltd., and the SA Brewing Co. Ltd. By 1960 the hotel had been delicensed and in that year it was purchased by the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia Inc.

The building recaptures some of the character of this dormitory suburb of Adelaide, where corner shops and hostelries played such an important role in the community. While the removal of upper decoration (a cantilevered balcony originally graced the main facade), and the erection of an insensitive awning over large shop fronts, have marred the elevation to O’Connell Street, the former hotel is still readily identifiable with the period when many of Adelaide’s hotels were rebuilt (circa 1875-85).

While the physical changes made to the building may have detracted from its appearance, the new function may be considered of national significance. When the former hotel was bought, the Lutheran Church was divided into the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (the purchaser) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia. On October 31, 1966, the Advertiser reported an end to the 120-year rift between Lutherans with the agreement to amalgamate made at a constituting convention held at Tanunda. The convention, attended by almost 10,000 parishioners and pastors from all states, New Zealand and New Guinea, also agreed that Lutheran Church House in O’Connell Street should be the Australian head office of the new church. The Lutheran Church of Australia formally came into being in 1967 and this building was its federal church office.

The building has since been reinstated as a hotel and now operates as the Archer.


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The building is of great significance on quite unrelated architectural and historical grounds, as both an impressively designed “boom era” hotel and the Australian headquarters of the first united Lutheran church since the very earliest days of German colonial settlement.

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Images of Huntsman Hotel

Rowland Rees
Building materials
Render, Stucco, Stone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1883 -
Architecture and design features
chimney, window canopies
Engineering features
Upper North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
W Beaglehole, J Johnston, J Gasquoine
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, House
AS2482 classification
11500 - Business: Commercial/Retail
Public Access
Opening hours only
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5886/132 F161578 A94
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA registered
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
3.1 Economic Cycles
3.1.5 Farming Boom
3.5 Commercial, Marketing & Retail
3.5.5 A City of Pubs
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments; Advertiser, 31 October 1966; South Australian Register, 2 October
  • 1882; Ward, M.H., Some brief records of brewing in South Australia, 1950, p. 17.

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