Rob Roy Hotel & Outbuilding

Rob Roy Hotel & Outbuilding

The sketch shown of the Rob Roy Tavern before the 1860s indicates that the two-storey western section is at least 130 years old. The hotel is therefore representative of the taverns of the earliest days of the colony, having an unbroken existence since it was first licensed in 1840 by Robert Peter.

The first part of the building, probably a single-storey section since replaced by the later two-storey wing, was built for James Cronk. In 1838 he and John Bagg purchased Town Acre 523, on which the building is situated. When R. Peter bought the property in 1842 the built improvements would have been minimal, judging by the purchase price of £85. In 1853 Peter Smith purchased the property. He paid the substantial sum of £1680, indicating improvements such as the surviving western wing.

In 1872 the property was purchased by Thomas, Margaret and Barbara Smith. The eastern two-storey section with its cantilevered balcony was erected in1881 to a design by the architects English and Soward. The western and earliest part of the building remained largely original until 1926. It was refaced and rendered but retains its traditional disposition of openings.

The interior of the hotel was upgraded during 1985-86, preserving evidence of the original disposition of rooms. Later, in 1986, a new sympathetic dining room extension was added to the east.

The contrast between the section of the hotel dating from the1840s and the portion erected in the Italianate idiom, dating from the boom period of the1880s, is particularly rare in the city since many hotels were totally rebuilt in the boom period. Such evidence of piecemeal growth right through to the present day is now uncommon in the city.


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The Rob Roy Hotel is one of the oldest hotel structures still in existence in the city and ranks in importance with the Queens Head Hotel in Kermode Street and the former Beresford Arms in Gilles Street.

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Images of Rob Roy Hotel & Outbuilding

  • Rob Roy Hotel, 2014
English and Soward
Building materials
Brick, Iron, Cast iron, Render, Stucco, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.9 Italianate
1881 -  

Additional Works

Refaced and Rendered

Construction commenced
Construction completed

Interior Upgraded

Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
spandrel, corbel, bracket, balcony
Engineering features
South East Corner
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Robert Peter, James Cronk, Thomas, Margaret and Barbara Smith
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Commercial, Hotel
AS2482 classification
10510 - Hotel - Motel - Inn
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5302/335 F162919 A93
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
2.2.1 Early Colonial Settlement
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, Smith Survey 1880: Hoad, J.L., Hotels and publicans in South Australia,
  • 1836-1984, 1986, part 3, pp. 513-4; McLellan, J., Adelaide's early inns and taverns, 1941, p. 20; MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 523).

Further reading

External links

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