This section of Russell Street is part of the 'Town Square' in Bathurst. The photo was taken looking towards William Street in 1928 and shows several motor vehicles parallel parked along the street, unlike today. To the left in King's Parade can be seen the Boer War Memorial along with the series of seats that had recently been installed by Bathurst City Council. The streetlights were lit by gas produced by Council's gasworks which was once located further down Russell Street and just under the railway underpass.

Parking was certainly not at a premium in Russell Street at this time when bicycles, horses, horse and carts were still a common sight along with the 'motor vehicle'.

The two large buildings in the centre were two of Bathurst's prestige establishments – the Royal Hotel on the left and still standing and the Grand Hotel on the right, now replaced by the Knickerbocker Hotel.

The Grand Hotel was constructed for the Kenna Family Estate with building beginning in 1890 and continuing into 1891. With 40 rooms, 3 drawing rooms, 4 parlours, 3 dining rooms, 2 smoking rooms, snuff room, bars, offices and shops it was a popular hostellery for visitors to the city.

The Royal Hotel started life as a single storey building known as the Good Woman Inn however by the time this photo was taken the establishment had been enlarged to three floors, all with verandahs and iron lacework. The tariff to stay at the Royal Hotel was 18/- and a hotel car would meet all trains.

Alan McRae FAIHA © Copyright Bathurst District Historical Society


Russell Street and Grand Hotel