Name: Wentworth Hotel
Location: NE Cnr Darling & Sandwych Streets, Wentworth
Use: Former Hotel
Constructed: 1861
Demolished: 0
Theme: Commerce
Condition: Fair, modified
Endorsements: Interim Conservation Order

Statement of Heritage Significance:

A two storey rendered brick structure with iron hipped roof. The corner entranceway is highlighted by two large angled pillars, an upper level balcony is supported by double chamfered posts identical to the lower level supports which are set on capped pedestal blocks. The building is situated on the approach to the Darling Bridge at the junction of Darling and Sandwych Streets. It is a dominate feature in the main streetscape, while contributing to the historic townscape provided by the post office, courthouse and adjacent buildings. However the completeness of that townscape character is severely compromised by the loss of the Crown Hotel from the south western corner of Darling and Sandwych Streets, diagonally opposite the Wentworth Hotel.

The hotel stands on the site of Wentworths first inn. That first inn was a slab hut construction built in the early 1850’s, but was burnt down shortly before 1861, when John McGeorge erected a masonry hotel structure on the site. The existing hotel bears no apparent resemblance to this masonry structure, which was a single storey building surrounded by a low wide verandah with corrugated iron roof. From the 1890’s a gradual process of alteration of the 1861 structure took place. The second storey and verandah modifications seen today were erected only in 1937 and dramatically changed the character of the hotel. The hotel played a significant role in the early community life of Wentworth and surrounding region, being used for church services prior to the construction of the various churches, Council meetings and other community service organisation meetings and activities. The site is currently under development pressure from the adjacent services club, which is proposing demolition to enable expansion. The original character of the building and significance of the site as supporting one of the first establishments in the town should be incorporated in any future development proposal.

There is little apparent physical connection between the existing hotel structure and that of its forerunners and hence the historical relevance of the item related to the site rather than the building. Accordingly, conservation of the building is not essential, however, its incorporation into any redevelopment of the site is strongly encouraged. In an event, it is essential that the townscape qualities of the Darling Street Sandwych Street intersection re reinforced by the retention of a significant built form on the Wentworth Hotel Site, whether than be through the use of the existing structure of by other aesthetically acceptable means.

Tullock D ‘The historic town of Wentworth’, J Whyte.

Recording Date: 13/12/1988

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