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The History

As listed on the Aussie Heritage website... www.aussieheritage.com.au

List: Register of the National Estate
Class: Historic
Legal Status: Registered (21/11/2000)
Place ID: 16982
Place File No: 3/03/001/0187

Statement of Significance

The Prince Albert Hotel, built in circa 1852, is an important part of Adelaide`s network of early inner city corner pubs that together reflect the development and social history of the city. Through its early construction date, the building is important for its association with the early development of Adelaide. It is typical of the Victorian corner pub and illustrates the popular `local` pub culture associated with a closely bound residential community in Adelaide. The Hotel is also important for its continous link with the liquor trade, both in occupation and built form, now rarely represented in the City. (Criteria A4, B.2 and D.2) (Historic Themes: 4.1 Planning urban settlements; and 8.4 Eating and Drinking)

The Prince Albert Hotel is important for its association with the early migration of Germans to South Australia. It was established by the German settlers, the Dreyer family, who were associated with the Hotel from its initial licensing (1852) until approximately 1976. The Hotel was also connected with the prominent South Australian Brewing Company and Walkerville Co-operative Brewing Company. (Criteria A.4 and H.1) (Historic Theme: 2.4 Migrating)

The Prince Albert Hotel, prominently sited on the corner of Wright and Lowe Streets, is important as a visual and physical landmark within the surrounding single storeyed nineteenth century workers cottages. (Criterion E1)


The Prince Albert Hotel is a two storey early Victorian style hotel with later boom style Italianate elements. Its design is typical of the Victorian corner public house with return verandah and balcony. There is strong evidence of early elements, indicating the hotel`s piecemeal growth. The Hotel is constructed of bluestone rendered and painted, with additions in brick. The interior is relatively original in terms of floor plan and ceiling heights.

The Prince Albert Hotel is a visual and physical landmark within the surrounding single storeyed nineteenth century workers cottages. It is a prominent element on the corner of Wright and Lowe Streets that was intrinsically connected to the tightly knit community of little means that surrounded it.


The Prince Albert Hotel is thought to date from the early 1850s, with the first licence for the Hotel being granted in 1852 to Eliza Dreyer. Unlike many of Adelaide`s surviving hotels, the Prince Albert Hotel does not appear to have been rebuilt during the halcyon days of the boom period of the 1870s and 1880s. The corner section of the building displays features which indicate an early date. The relatively low ceiling heights, flat heads to first floor openings, near edge glazing bars to the French doors leading to the balcony and the large, coarsely detailed chimney top all support the assertion that the corner section of the hotel dates back to the 1850s. However the building has been refaced and extended to the west along Wright Street and to the north along Lowe Street. The verandah/balcony, which is typical of Victorian hotels, was erected after 1890. Italianate semi-circular headed paired opened windows were probably part of an 1880s refacing of the ground floor. In October 1900, additions were approved by Council, probably the Lowe Street elevation extension. It appears that little work had been carried out to upgrade the hotel for the owner Eliza Dreyer was served a notice to thoroughly cleanse the public urinal on the premises. In addition in 1893 an outbreak of typhoid was reported from one of Dreyer`s properties on the Town Acre on which the Prince Albert is situated.

The Prince Albert Hotel has Germanic associations, having been connected with Carl Edouard Wilhelm Dreyer, Otto Carl Haussen and Christian Spehr. In addition the Hotel was later associated with the prominent brewers A and WK Simms and the South Australian Brewing, Malting Wine and Spirit Company.

The Prince Albert Hotel remained in the Dreyer family until circa 1976.

Condition and Integrity

The Prince Albert Hotel appears to be in reasonable condition with no obvious faults. Its integrity is good and it is still in use as a hotel. (15 June 1999)


254-256 Wright Street, corner of Lowe Street, Adelaide.


Donovon, Marsden, Stark, City of Adelaide Heritage Survey, 1982.

Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, Heritage South Australia, File No. 6628 13098.