Melbourne's population doubled in size during the 19th century, as it became a small manufacturing town. Its growth was mirrored by a plentiful supply of pubs and a brewery (1851-1954) as most people drank beer.
The Research Group's 2002/3 project was to trace the history of all the individual pubs both past and present, and their roles in society as club headquarters, venues for manor courts and public meetings, accommodation for travellers, or simply as places for relaxation and entertainment.
The names themselves have stories behind them. The Melbourne Arms, Hardinge Arms, Crewe and Harpur Arms, Sir Francis Burdett and Marquis of Hastings all commemorate local landowners. The Ring of Bells (closed c1816) possibly refers to packhorses, where the front horse had a collar of bells.
Some of the publicans were colourful characters. One example was Thomas Dugmore (c1739-1820), who wrote a pamphlet criticising the local aristocracy's high-handed actions during the Parliamentary Enclosure of Melbourne (1787-1791).
Before the Reservoir.
Houses & History.