Hotel:Victoria Park Hotel
Hoddle Street, between Hotham Street & Alexandra Parade (formerly Reilly Street)
Victoria Park Hotel (1901 - 1971)
Highbury Barn Hotel (1854 - 1861), Albion Hotel (1862), Highbury Barn Hotel (1863 - 1901)
Demolished c.1972 for the widening of Hoddle Street
1954 alterations and additions cost 6000 pounds
Kearney 1855: Y ; Hodgkinson 1858: Y ; MMBW: Detail Plan 1234, 1901
The two storey stone hotel was romantically depicted in a watercolour painted around 1855 and showing the hill rising towards Clifton Hill in the background. The rural scene, with cattle being driven along the road and goats and hens foraging beside the hotel, contrasts strongly with busy Hoddle Street today. The painting is attributed, on stylistic grounds, to Henry Gritten, who also painted the Galloway Arms in Johnston Street. The sign above the hotel door reads: 'William H. Maidment / licensed to retail fermented and spirituous liquors'.
Maidment was determined that his customers should enjoy themselves. In his first years at the hotel he advertised amusements such as the following:
QUOIT Match.-Six gentlemen of Collingwood are matched to play at Quoits, at twenty one yards distance against six of Melbourne, on Monday, the 21st day of August, at one o'clock. W.H. Maidment, Highbury Barn Hotel, Hoddle street, Collingwood.
The Argus, 15 August 1854, p. 3
OLD ENGLISH SPORTS, at the Highbury Barn Hotel, Hoddell-street (sic), Collingwood, on Boxing Day. Quoit Matches, Foot and Hurdle Races, Jumping in Sacks, a Bell Race, and Wheelbarrow Race, Blind-folded Racing for a Pig, to be caught by the tail, and various other amusements. N. B.-The choicest English ale and porter, wines, and spirits on hand. Anything but real amusement will be strictly prohibited by the proprietor. W. H. MAIDMENT.
The Argus, 26 December 1855, p. 8
Unfortunately by 1859 he was insolvent and the hotel was auctioned, described as built of stone on land 75 feet by 300 feet, with slate roof, containing a bar and 12 rooms. The furniture, stock-in-trade and effects were all to be sold, as were three vacant allotments behind the hotel: 25 feet by 100 feet each, in Forest, Bendigo and Hotham streets.
Victoria Park, the recreation ground destined to become the home of the mighty Magpies, had been so named by council in 1878, so this hotel took a while to follow suit.