Carlton Hotel

The Carlton Hotel, situated at 1 Papanui Road, was built in 1903 to replace an earlier hotel. It was demolished in 2011.

Bealey Ave and Papanui Road corner, 1900s and 2014. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

In 1863, Alfred Walter Money, a stable keeper in Papanui, purchased part of Rural Section 6 on the north west corner of Town Belt (Bealey Avenue) and Papanui Road. It was Money’s intention to construct a hotel which would provide accommodation for farmers visiting the city and yards for their livestock. Money applied for his hotel license in March 1863 and in April it was granted. The construction of the hotel was completed by September 1863. The hotel was originally a wooden, two storey building set up against the corner of the two roads.

In April 1864, Money leased the hotel and transferred his license to George Oram, who intended to enlarge the building and add a billiard room. Money took over the management of hotel again in April 1866 and in the following month the license was transferred to him. In August 1866, Money leased the hotel to William Hayward and Edward Johnson. However, in September, the two dissolved their partnership. In March 1876, the license was transferred back to Money.

In January 1870, Money leased the hotel and transferred his license to Nathaniel Harris. In December 1872, the license was transferred from Harris to Charles Edwin Paget. The sale yards continued to operate at the hotel until 1874 when the Addington stockyards opened. In June 1875, George Plummer was granted the license for the Carlton, as in the following July Paget was declared bankrupt.

Plummer applied to transfer the license to Philip McDevitt in 1882. In his application, McDevitt requested that he be allowed to let out a room once a month to a lodge of Druids. McDevitt also asked that his opening hours be extended until 11pm as visitors from Papanui, Kaiapoi, and Styx who came into Christchurch to the theatre often used his stables, and since the theatre closed at 10pm, an 11pm closing was necessary.

In May 1885, McDevitt leased the hotel to Edward Sullivan and applied to transfer the hotel license to him.  A photograph, dated to 1885, shows how the Carlton Hotel looked during this period. A verandah, which was possibly not an original feature, wrapped around the eastern and southern facades of the building. In September 1885, the license was transferred from Sullivan to John Sweeney.

In June 1889, the license was transferred from Sweeney to Thomas Ockford who refurbished the hotel. By November, the hotel license was held by William Henry Porter, as in that month he applied to transfer it to a former licensee, George Plummer. In December 1891, Plummer applied to transfer the license to John Barlow. Following an application by Barlow in May 1894, the license was transferred to Robert Crichton.

Crichton applied to transfer the license to Arthur Petherbridge in March 1896. In May 1898, Eliza Batley applied for the license which was granted in June. In March 1899, the license was transferred from Batley to Francis (Frank) Davy.

When Davy made an application to renew the hotel license in June 1901, an objection was made by Inspector Ellison on the grounds that the building was old, low, and stuffy. At the time of this application, the hotel had seventeen single rooms and three double rooms. The committee decided that plans to improve the hotel were to be submitted by March 1902.

In February 1902, the property was transferred from Alfred Walter Money to Ward and Co. Brewery. Initially, the original hotel building was auctioned by Tonks and Norton in April. Later that month the building was relocated to an empty section near Bishopscourt. An advertisement for H. Matson and Co. shows an auction for timber, Baltic flooring, and one large room taking place on the site on 23 April.

Ward and Co. Brewery commissioned a new hotel, with the vision of accommodating guests for the 1906-1907 International Exhibition to be held in Hagley Park. The second hotel building was designed by architect Joseph Clarkson Maddison in a classical ‘palazzo’ style, with a chamfered corner featuring the main entrance at the corner of Bealey Avenue and Papanui Road. The new Carlton Hotel opened for business on 7 March 1903 with the lease continuing under Davy.

Davy remained the licensee until April 1913 when he applied to transfer the license to Edward John Massey. In March 1915, the license was transferred from Massey to Daniel Spence. Ward and Co. Brewery transferred the property to Spence in April 1923.

In June 1926, Spence transferred the license to Alfred John O’Malley. In 1927, the property was purchased by O’Malley and his wife, Elizabeth, who died in July of that year. Alfred O’Malley died in October 1929, and in 1930 the trustees of his estate applied to transfer the license to David Edmonds.

Edmonds transferred the license to Edward Murphy in June 1932. In May 1933, Murphy applied to transfer the license to Charles Watkins Stafford. In October 1936, Stafford applied to transfer the license to Herbert Stafford. In July 1937, Herbert Stafford applied to transfer his license to Charles Clark. This was granted in September.

In 1940, a stainless steel tank was installed to allow for beer to be supplied in bulk from the breweries. The Carlton Hotel was the first hotel in New Zealand to feature this new method of storing and distributing beer to its customers.

By June 1945, the license was transferred from the estate of Alfred O’Malley to Leslie Guy Marston.

An open air beer garden, another first for New Zealand, was built on the northern side of the hotel in 1947. Designed in a rustic fashion, the beer garden featured larch posts from Hanmer Springs and raised flower beds made of Halswell stone.

In February 1950, Marston applied to transfer the license to Denis Urban Crosbie. In June 1954, the license transferred from Crosbie to Douglas Stallard. Another first for the hotel was a drive through bottle store, Carlton Cellars, which was in operation by 1955.

In June 1954, the license was transferred from Crosbie to Douglas Stallard. The license was transferred back to the estate of Alfred O’Malley in June 1960.

Extensions and upgrades were made to the hotel in July 1970, including the removal of the beer garden (the site of which later became the Wagon Wheel Restaurant). The O’Malley family sold the hotel to Inns of Canterbury in 1977.

In 1981, the building was registered as a Category 2 Historic Place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. The property was transferred to Ballin Rattray Limited in 1985, and in 1989 it was transferred to Dominion Breweries Limited.

The Mecca petrol station building on the front corner, which later became a florist, was demolished in 1991 to make room for widening the turn from Bealey Avenue into Papanui Road. In February 1994 Dominion Breweries sold the property to Carlton Corner Holdings Limited headed by Neil Neumann. The hotel building was then purchased by Rob Hempseed.

Under the ownership of Hempseed, the building was renovated and preserved as part of a wider redevelopment of the surrounding area by Carlton Corner Holdings. As part of this renovation, the streamline modern single storey addition to the northern façade of the building was demolished.

In 1998, plans were submitted to add extensions to the north of the original hotel building, part of which would be occupied by Burger King in 1999.

Although the Carlton Hotel building suffered some damaged during the 2010 earthquake it remained in operation. However, the 22 February 2011 earthquake caused part of the façade to collapse onto Papanui Road. The building was demolished on 9 April 2011.

A new building was constructed and opened on the site in July 2013.