Halfway House Inn

The first Victorian Inn was built in 1836 on the east side of the Werribee River and was run by Oliver Adams. Captain Lonsdale (who was the first Police Magistrate) arrived in the Colony the same year and took control of the licensing of hotels.

Golden Fleece Inn

In 1839 when Robert W. Lyall took over the running of the Halfway House Inn he renamed it the Golden Fleece and operated it under licence. In April 1840, Robert Lyall's licence was refused renewal and later that year was taken over by Dr George Greeves. Greeve's licence was renewed annually until 1846 when his application was refused and the hotel closed.

The Racecourse Hotel

Charles Nantes bought seven allotments of land at the first land sale in Werribee held in 1850. He paid 40 for the corner site on which the Bridge Inn building was completed in 1851. A licence for this was granted to Elliott Armstrong who also ran a blacksmith business in the hotel yard. When coaches began operating between Melbourne and Geelong, the coaches stopped and horses were watered at the Bridge Inn. The first school in Werribee was held by Armstrong's daughter in the grounds of the hotel. In the 1870's the hotel was known as Armstrongs. Armstrong gave up hotel keeping in 1879 when the hotel passed to his son in law. Michael Wall then acquired it on a 3 year lease. It seems to have been at this time that the name changed to the Racecourse Hotel. During the 1880's the hotel changed hands several times and passed into the possession of the Melbourne breweries shortly before the hotel burned down in 1888. The hotel was rebuilt but was again destroyed by fire in the early 1930's. Mr J.R. Doyle, the new owner, built a new hotel building at the cost of 2,300.

The Bridge Hotel

The land on which the Bridge Hotel now stands was brought by James Knight of Geelong in the first land sale for Werribee. There are differences in opinion of when the "Camp Inn" was built. A 1919 advertisement by the then owner Shields states it was built in 1883. The bluestone building was later demolished and the stone was used to build a house in Cottrell Street. The Bridge Hotel now on the site it thought to have been built in the 1920's.

The Werribee Hotel

When Michael Wall's lease of the Racecourse Hotel expired in 1882 he bought Ponting's paddock and built another hotel there. He was warned it may not be a good move as with the opening of the railway most sheep were now passing through the township by train which meant less road traffic and fewer thirsty drovers. Wall named his hotel, a weatherboard building, the Werribee Club Hotel, although it was known as 'Wall's'. A brick front was added to the building in 1907. D. Canny took up the lease and the Hotel became known as 'Canny's'. Later on it was 'Hammonds'.

The Commercial Hotel

The Railway Hotel was built by Richard O'Connor in 1869. He also built a store but gave up storekeeping in 1875 although he kept the hotel. By 1904 he was announcing plans to rebuild his hotel, then called the Angler's. The building, now the Commercial, was sold in 1920 along with shops, houses and other property when O'Connor died.


Little River Hotel

The Traveller's Rest, Little River, was built in 1839 assumed to be built by Henry Grass. The Traveller's Rest was advertised for sale in July 1840 as "a commodious wooden dwelling house consisting of ten rooms and an eight stall stable on the Little River, Geelong Road, about thirty miles from Melbourne, licenced as an Inn, and known as the Traveller's Rest, being the only public house on the road to Geelong". Mr George O'Connor took over the licence in 1842 and held it until 1848. He sold out in the following year, and the hotel burned down in 1851. When the railway opened, Little River became increasingly popular as a picnic spot. Henry Nickless opened his Bowling Green Hotel with an eye to the holiday crowds. The hotel burned down in 1858. Michael McShare's Station Peak Terminus Hotel, built on the Geelong side of the river near the base of the You Yangs in the 1860's has long since disappeared.