Gary Bell


Download: Historic Pubs around Sydney: Order Form (PDF 921.4 kb)


This is his third sketchbook recording the history of Australian pubs. His earlier books explain the need to preserve the heritage of our colonial hotels because they are a diminishing breed and often neglected in historical records. The first two books concentrated on South-eastern New South Wales and the Murray River. This one covers historic colonial pubs around Sydney.

There has been no attempt to cover historic hotels within Sydney beyond starting with a few of our classics from The Rocks area. This publication concentrates more on the early pubs around the fringe of the city in settlements established when the colony was first expanding beyond Sydney Town and Parramatta. These settlements (now towns) are within a days drive from Sydney city at some of our nation's most historic locations.

Where possible, the originals or early versions of the public houses have been illustrated. These illustrations are accompanied by the history of the pubs as well as photographs of them in their present state.


'Both sketchbooks (Murray and Pubs Around Sydney) are a class act and a must for the Pub enthusiast and give well deserved recognition to the historical importance of these great pubs' - Ed, G'Day Pubs


This is Gary's second sketchbook produced to preserve the history and architecture of more of Australia's historic country pubs. This book covers historic pubs in an important area of our heritage – the expansion of our nation along the Murray River. Paddle steamers and barges joined coaches and wagons as the means of transportation and the demand for the support of inns and pubs was soon present.

The Murray River offers a good cross-section of hotels. These range from the small village pubs that have changed little over the years to large grand hotels that were once the social centre for the region. Some now rely on poker machines to pay the rent, whereas others prefer not to have the distraction. Most are privately owned, but the Riverland area of South Australia has a number of 'community hotels', which are unique. Many small village pubs continue as they have in the past and many old hotels have converted to more modern venues. However, many old pubs have succumbed to the onslaught of motels and large clubs in the mid 1900s and closed.

All deserve recognition for the important roles they fulfilled in the early development of our nation. The intent of this book is to preserve the history of pubs and hotels along the Murray River and record their importance to the development of our nation.


'An illustrated survey of old pubs in towns along the Murray. The hotels are wonderfully sketched...and the work is beautifully presented.' - Yarrawonga Chronicle.

'Book pays homage to the wonderful old pubs along the Murray River.' - Sunraysia Daily



Gary's first book covering selected historic pubs in an area influenced by an expanding colonial population with settlers moving west of Sydney town, miners moving between goldfields and bushrangers determined to exploit both.


"A new and visually appealing book" - Canberra Times


Copyright © Gary Bell.2008  Website: