The brickwork of the Argyle Cafe actually is quite dark, but it glows burnt orange as it was caught in the afternoon sun. The warmth contrasts beautifully with the deep green awnings and timberwork of the windows.
|Painting the 'Argyle Cafe, late afternoon Millers Point'2011 oil on canvas 31 x 31cm|
The "Lord Nelson Hotel" in Argyle Street, on the left hand side of this little canvas, is one of the oldest licensed premises still operating in Sydney, and home of Australia’s oldest boutique pub brewery. The Lord is recognised around the globe for its award winning beers, and is full of character (as well as "characters").
The Rocks and Miller's Point used to be almost literally awash with pubs. Of the thirty seven taverns listed in 1855 only two, the "Lord Nelson" and "The Hero of Waterloo" still operate as pubs.
William Wells, a plasterer, had a licence for the "Shipwright Arms", later called the "Sailor's Return", on the north-eastern corner of Kent and Argyle Streets opposite his house. He had built a two storey colonial home in 1836 using sandstone blocks quarried from the area at the base of Observatory Hill. Wells continued to operate the pub opposite his home firstly as the "Sailors Return", and in 1840 as the "Quarryman's Arms". In 1841 he sold and on 1st May 1841 he obtained a liquor licence for his home which he then called "The Lord Nelson".
The hotel has now been restored to its former grandeur with the aid of an 1852 photograph.On the walls are many interesting artefacts including an original "Times" newspaper of 7th November 1805 with details of the Battle of Trafalgar and Lord Nelson's death. A copy of the hotel's first licence, and other interesting pieces helps give the hotel its authentic 1800s atmosphere.
Unlike the eerily silent Palisade Hotel opposite, the "Lord Nelson" is going gangbusters, especially on Friday and Saturdays.
The Palisade Hotel closed about a year ago for renovations. There is now an ugly shade structure defacing the roofline, but the pub is still boarded up.
The Palisade Hotel, perched on the top of the sandstone escarpment above Hickson Road, was designed by Henry D. Walsh in the Federation Free Style and built in 1912, replacing an earlier hotel of the same name. The name came from a palisade fence built between Munn Street and Bettington Street, which has now been replaced by more elegant wrought ironwork railings. It overlooks the wharves of the former 'Hungry Mile' and was popular with wharfies and the labourers who were working on the Sydney Harbour Bridge from 1923 to 1932.
The Palisade was also the last bar Sydney’s diggers drank in before they were shipped off to Gallipoli.
|Starting my Painting of the 'Argyle Cafe, late afternoon Millers Point'|
2011 oil on canvas 31 x 31cm
|'Argyle Cafe, late afternoon Millers Point' 2011 oil on canvas 31 x 31cm |
Enquiries about similar paintings
I had neglected the streetscapes of the Rocks and Miller's Point because of the pressure to paint the last ships of Sydney's Working Harbour. However the charming jumble of little laneways, damp alleys and rugged stone stairs which were the trademark of this historic area, will change when Barangaroo is developed. It has been amazing how this sleepy corner of old Sydney survived so long.
- Bacon and Eggs in Miller's Point (barangarooartist.blogspot.com)
- Great Pubs for Sydney Visitors - The Rocks (sydneyexpert.com)
- Artist in Residence at the Aroma Coffee Festival - the Post Mortem (janebennettartist.blogspot.com)