Evolving Port

Port Melbourne and Fishermans Bend change. Houses are changed or demolished and new forms of housing take their place. Port Houses records some of these changes.

26 February 2019

Army and Navy Hotel, Port Melbourne

December 2018

A private auction was held on 1 December. The property sold on 27 December 2018.

4 May 2013

After lying neglected and ignored for almost twenty years, the heritage listed Army and Navy Hotel has metamorphosed into some very sophisticated townhouses, now for sale. This photograph precedes the change.

June 2012

Dow St was a centre of activity for the Naval Brigades that preceded formation of the Australian Navy. The great apprehension of a Russian invasion galvanised the Brigades.

Here is just a snippet to convey the presence of Navy in Dow St:

'The Sandridge Corps of the Naval Brigade paraded on Friday at the drill room in Dow Street for official inspection. A hundred members were present … and the men went to quarters. The guns were all cast loose and run out, guns on both sides manned; broadside and independent firing was practised. The Officer in Command was Capt Steele assisted by Capt Johnson and Lieuts Swallow and Smith.'

A letter to The Age (14 01 1933) recalls some of the early settlers, including

'Captain Harry Hall (who) signalled his retirement from the sea by conducting the dual businesses of a sand contractor and a publican. He kept the Army and Navy Hotel in Dow-street, opposite the old drill hall.'

History of the Army and Navy Hotel

"By November 1866, a 6 room brick hotel had been built. It was owned by James Frazer, a Drill Instructor of Sandridge. Frederick Sanderson was granted a license for the Army and Navy Hotel on 1 October 1866. Other publicans kept the hotel during its early years. These included Thomas Postle (1867) and Frederick Haycroft (1868). During the 1880s the hotel was kept by Harry Hall who also rana a ballast contracting business."

(source: Port Melbourne Convervation Study prepared by Jacobs Lewis Vines Architects and Conservation Planners, July 1979) 


Visit the Victorian Heritage Database for a photograph that captures the presence of the Army and Navy Hotel.





  1. This hotel was owned by my great great great grandfather John William Cockle. My great grandfather Leslie Arthur Douglas was also born here in 1892

  2. Hello Elizabeth, would love to hear more about your family's Port connections