|Also known as||The Peacock Hotel|
Timelapse Building Images
Date(s) of creation: [ca. 19–?] Copy of a negative originally taken in 1882.
photograph : gelatin silver ; 10.0 x 15.3 cm.
Reproduction rights owned by the State Library of Victoria
Accession No: H26302
Image No: a14474
State Library of Victoria
Subsequent Building Alterations
Heritage Significance and Listings
|Heritage Listings and Explanatory Notes|
The Peacock Hotel 1857-1861, renamed The Court House Hotel (2) 1&61-
The first name, The Peacock, is rich in meaning. In many parts of Europe, the peacock is a symbol of long life. Inns inside monasteries often had the sign of a peacock hinting at long life or even immortality. TI1e second name, which has persisted, indicated that, at the time, the courthouse was opposite.
A meeting place
North Melbourne’s Peacock Hotel was closely associated with the early history of the municipality of Hotham. In1859, the first meetings of the Hotham Council were held in the Peacock. The first owner Samuel Lancashire was a councillor and mayor in 1870. The practice of using the pub as a meeting place continued after it was renamed The Court House in 1861. Groups who met there included the Hotham Lodge of the Freemasons. the North Melbourne Liberal Association, the Bowling Club (in 1873) and the Bicycle Club (in 1882).
A famous resident
From 1908 until 1960, the Duggan family owned the Court House. ‘Cockie’ Duggan, a Sulphur-crested cockatoo, was a long-term resident and spent most of his time on a perch in the hotel’s back yard next to the men’s toilets. His repertoire included a more than passable imitation of men being sick. On more than one occasion, ‘Cockie’ Duggan flew to the top of the flagpole on the Town Hall, refused to leave and so had to be collected by the caretaker, a Scotsman, John McPherson Macleod. John (known as Jock) and his wife lived upstairs in the Town Hall building in a flat that was where the Melbourne Worker’s Theatre now has its rooms. The bird was donated to the Melbourne Zoo in the 1970s.
The appearance of the building has changed greatly over the years: singlestorey in the 1850s, two storeys by 1870 and remodelled in the late 1940s.
Historic Pubs of North Melbourne by Hotham History Project.
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Context and Streetscape
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