Historical information

This item is part of a larger collection donated to the Kew Historical Society by Anna French. The collection includes personal items from the donor's family, as well as items given to the donor and her mother by a family friend, Lucy Merritt (Jean) Hornby. The item is from that part of the collection inherited or assembled by Jean Hornby. The collection is significant given Jean Hornby's mother's descent from Robert Hornby (1854-1935) and Eva Merritt (1865-1959); her mother the chid of a family who settled in Kew in the 1850s, this providing a chain of provenance for items dating to the mid-nineteenth century, when her maternal forebears arrived in Melbourne. Other items represent Jean Hornby's contribution to her local and wider community.


This 19th century photograph includes significant architectural details of an important hotel in Sunbury, Victoria. Additionally, it was taken by a local photographer - CHR Christianson - who operated the Sunbury [photographic] Studio.

Physical description

Silver albumen print, mounted on board, of the original Royal Hotel on the corner of Brook and Evans Streets, Sunbury, Victoria.The single-storey, rendered brick building with a corrugated galvanised iron roof includes a number of pieces of information that may assist in dating the photograph. The licensee's name above the door appears to be M.A. Williams. To the left of the door on the external wall is a painted sign: 'BILLIARDS". Another painted sign on the front of the building reads "ROYAL HOTEL [illegible] BILLIARDS." An attached building at right may be the residence of the licensee. Specific architectural features of the building include a corner doorway with a lamp above, three sash windows and a larger square lead-light window to the right of the doorway. The latter identifies the space behind as the "BAR". On the footpath in front of this building is a grill set into the footpath to enable deliveries to a cellar. At least four figures can be identified in the photograph: a woman in the doorway, a man to her right, leaning against the wall, and two other men at the right hand side of the building. Beyond the boundary of the building is a sloping footpath to a bluestone edged gutter. An elm [sic] within a protective, picketed surround is in front of the building. C.H.R. Christianson is identified on the reverse as the photographer.

Inscriptions & markings

Reverse in pencil: Royal Hotel Billards Sunbury / CHR Christianson photographer