Hunter Valley Inns & Hotels

Hexham Hotel


In July 1843 Thomas Prentice opened the 'spacious premises' on the road to Newcastle and formerly occupied by William Sparke . He named it The Hexham Hotel. He had laid in a stock of the most approved and genuine wines spirits etc and provided good stabling. (1)

By June he was advertising for couple to work as cook and waiter and laundress and housemaid (2)

When Thomas Prentice died in 1848 John Slack Smith took over the Hotel and established a race course at the rear of the premises. (4)

John Slack Smith was granted a license for the Hexham Hotel in 1853, 854 and 1855.

Newcastle historian W. J. Goold wrote of the Inns at Hexham.....

In the little village of Hexham there were two Inns, John Smith's "Hexham Inn" and John Hannell's "Wheat sheaf Arms"—each had a racecourse adjoining the house, and races were held there on holidays for prizes presented by "mine host." On these race days there was great rivalry between the two proprietors to secure the patronage of the sporting fraternity that came from Newcastle and Maitland. (7)

In 1855 the following advertisement was placed in the Maitland Mercury:

To be let the well established Inn known as the Hexham Hotel, situated in the thriving town of Hexham, daily becoming more populous. The high road between Newcastle and the interior passes the door. The Newcastle Railway runs through the lands of the inn and also Mr. Eales' Railway, for the transit of coals from Minmi, passes through the property to terminate at a wharf near to the inn. The hotel is very commodious; contains six large rooms for the reception of visitors, and four bed rooms; has detached kitchen, stable, and out buildings, large paddock etc and will be let an advantageous terms. For further particulars apply to Mr. A. Dodds of East Maitland of to D. Carter, West Maitland.      

James Bain was granted the license in 1856.


(1) Maitland Mercury 1 July 1843

(2) Maitland Mercury 3 June1843

(3) The Voice of the North - The Pioneers by W.J. Goold 11 January 1932

(4) Maitland Mercury 23 May 1849   



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