The pub is a heritage-listed building and one of a number of establishments which formed an integral part of the shipbuilding and industrial heritage of the local area.
The origins of the Dry Dock Hotel can be traced to the Dock Inn located at 4 Thames Street between 1857 and 1861. From here, the pub moved to 42-44 Mort Street between 1865 and 1866.
The land on which the pub currently stands was part of a much larger 550 acre (2.2 km²) grant to colonial surgeon Dr William Balmain made in 1800 by Governor John Hunter. The licensee Thomas Wakfer, purchased the property on the current site from James McCallum in 1867 for the sum of 295 pounds.
By the mid 1860s, nearby Mort's Dock was undertaking heavy industrialisation of its site in Balmain and was a generator of much housing and employment in the local area. It was from this enterprise that the pub owes much of its early history through the provision of both refreshment and accommodation for dock workers. The main gate for the dock was located only a short distance away at the opposite side of Cameron Street.
The hotel was briefly known as The Clarendon in the early 1870s but then reverted to the Dock Inn until 1874, when it was renamed the Dry Dock Hotel.
Mort's Dock continued to provide patrons for the Dry Dock until 1957 when rising costs, labour disputes and management... Read More