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The story of ...

A public house is an establishment licensed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption. A pub, also known as a tavern, inn or hotel, was more often than not one of the first structures built in any new colony. Victoria’s public houses proliferated during 1850s gold-rush; with establishments tending to incorporate a bar separating patrons from publicans and which initially tended to be male-dominated.

Fyans’ Ford, a shallow river-crossing named after police magistrate Foster Fyans, became important to travellers moving between Geelong and Ballarat during the 1830s and '40s and, as a watering hole, for bullock teams

en-route to or from Victoria’s western district wool market.


Fyansford rapidly became a growing community, one which serviced the needs not only of the travellers but also the settlers who moved into the area beside the confluence of the Moorabool and Barwon Rivers seeking to take advantage of the rich, fertile soil and the reliable water supply; ideally suited for grazing and the growing of crops. It was natural, therefore, that pubs should be among the first buildings in the district.

The Swan Inn was the first public house located within a very short distance of the ford. However, the construction of the 1854 bridge across the Moorabool River, saw an additional two local establishments operating - the Fyansford and Balmoral hotels. The ensuing years saw the rise (and fall) of other similar establishments,

the Small Black Bull Inn, the Fair ViewJunction, and Friend in Hand hotels.


Currently, there are four venues in Fyansford with liquor licences -

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Blogs ~ public houses in & around fyansford

Blog #1 public houses in & around fyansford

Blog #2 Fyanstown Inn

Blog #3 balmoral hotel

Blog #4 fyans' ford hotel

Blog #5 fair view hotel

Blog #6 junction hotel

Blog #7 friend in hand hotel

Blog #8 sMALL bLACK bULL inn

Blog #9 southern star hotel

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Public Houses in Fyansford District
Individual Establishments...
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Rise & Fall of Fyansford's Public Houses

1843          Fyanstown Inn built on the western banks of the Moorabool River (John Atkins)

1854          Balmoral Inn built east of the Moorabool River and north of the Great Western Road (James Miller)

1854(!)     Friend in Hand Hotel constructions began (T. Brock)

1854-55   Fyans' Ford Hotel  built east of the Moorabool River south of the Great Western Road (C. Dawson)

1855          Fair View Hotel located on the junction of Great Western and Ballarat roads (James Noble)

1869         Junction Hotel located on the junction of Great Western and Ballarat roads

1890         Small Black Bull Inn appears on map (Origin, history and demise unknown) 

1880         Fair View Hotel suffers severe storm damage 

1917         Junction Hotel delicenced - Becomes 'Junction' House' (a private residence)

1980         Junction Hotel demolished (new premises erected on site)

2016         Swan Inn ruins gutted by fire

Public Houses of Fyansford and District
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As well as being a growing rural and industrial hub, Fyansford was an important point through which many travellers en-route to or from Ballarat and the Western District passed. Thus, it was logical that the small enterprising community should endeavour to provide for the needs of the weary traveller, the farmers and factory workers. The number of public ale houses grew, thrived and ceased to exist as needs and opportunities came and went.

Public houses known to have existed at some time:

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Without a doubt this is the

best source of information

regarding Fyansford's public houses

Fyansford Public Houses ~ The Stories Behind Each Establishment
Primary Information source:
Barwon Blog by Jo Mitchell
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public houses

in & around Fyansford

More than...

just comfort stops...

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Blog stops

Blog Number One

a public house

Vintage Wooden Beer Or Whiskey
Vintage Wooden Beer Or Whiskey

Take me to it

Blog Number Two

Fyanstown Inn

Take me to it

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Blog Number Three

Balmoral Hotel

keg 1.jpg

Take me to it

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Victorian pewter tankard, quart, circa 1

Take me to it

Blog Number Five

Fair View Hotel

Take me to it


Blog Number Six

Junction Hotel

Take me to it

Victorian pewter tankard, quart, circa 1
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Take me to it

ceramic beer mug Ca 1850.jpg
black bull.jpg

Take me to it

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Southern Star Hotel

Southern Star.jpg
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Take me to it

1a From Phil Fenton Ca 1870.jpg

This 1857 map (unknown origin)

show a hotel/house on the site.

1857 map.jpg
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a brief history of public houses in & around fyansford

A series of e-flipbooks detailing what we know about our 'locals' 


History of Public Houses Cover.jpg
Fyanstown Cover.jpg
Fyans' Ford Cover.jpg
Balmoral cover.jpg
Small Black Bull Inn.jpg
Junction Cover.jpg
Friend in Hand Cover.jpg
Southern Star Cover.jpg
Fair View Cover.jpg
Jo Mitchell Cover.jpg
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Jo Mitchell is the amazing authority behind Barwon Blog.


An informative picture of Jo is painted on HUG (Humans in Geelong)

jo-mitchell-barwon-blog-2002 #2.jpg

Over recent years as I have become increasingly constrained by physical limitations, the bulk of my research has of necessity been on-line. Without a doubt one of the starting points to any of my inquiries is always Barwon Blog. I highly recommend this resource to anyone with an interest in virtually anything to do with the Barwon River and its locality. 

These links take you to Jo's blogs that relate to Fyansford hotel.

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