The Greytown Hotel is a rarity in New Zealand; it has never been moved, has never burned down and has never changed its name!

Affectionately known to locals as the “Top Pub” on account of its location at the northern end of Greytown, (or maybe because of its good hospitality and reputation), the hotel was constructed in 1860 and upgraded in 1898, and then completely renovated in 2009 making this the oldest surviving Pub in Wairarapa. Very typical of early New Zealand buildings that ‘grew’ over the years, the hotel has extensions that were added on at various times, creating a range of rooms in differing styles and even with different floor-levels. The Greytown Hotel is rumoured to have some resident ghosts one even may have been caught is a photo on New Years Eve 2015.

Intriguing Past

Greytown Hotel’s History

Date Event
1859 – 14 AprilThe founder of Carterton, Charles Carter, (acting as agent for The Small Farms Association) sells the site to Edward Fellows. It is presumed that Fellows built the hotel, or had it built, in 1860, making it the oldest hotel continuously on the same site in New Zealand.
1860 – 4 JulyEdward Fellows sells the building to Henry William Rotermund, Licensed Victualler, for £25 (Pounds – $NZ50, ignoring inflation).
1866William Hammerich appears to have owned the hotel from 1866 until 1891. He may have been the licensee from 1866 until 1868.
1868 – 31 JanuaryRotermund (Head Ann?) to Lidey.
1868 – 1869Licencee, Mrs Thomas
1878 – 1883Licencee, John Quinn, who died in the hotel
1891Licencee William Hammerich (again?).
1892 – 1900Charles Rogers
1898Charles Rogers renovates the interior.
1902C.E. Thompson
1902 – 10 OctoberA chimney fire endangers the building.
1905 – AprilThomas Lorimer
1906Thomas Lorimer dies. (His widow remarries A.J. Tally.) The hotel is owned by C. E. Thompson Trustees.
1906 – 7 MayLicencee, Mrs Clara Smith. Hotel owned by Miss Norah McCarthy.
1909 – 4 MayHenry Collins. The hotel is owned by Mrs. Firth.
1911 – JuneJohn Robertson (Lessee)
1911 – 26 JulyEdgar Bushby
1912 – 1 MayJames Eaton, trading as Eaton and Crow, Lessees.
1912 – 9 AugustSven Polson (who also operated the Morison’s Bush Hotel).
1916 – 4 MayAlfred Goodwin
1917 – 11 MayJames Meikle
1919 – 24 SeptemberHenry Joseph Kelliher
1920 – 25 JuneJohn Henry Hills. The hotel is owned by the Estate of Mrs. Firth.
1921 – 29 SeptemberGeorge Everitt
1922 – 5 MayCharles Edward Cutts
1923 – 29 NovemberFrederick William (or Whittington) Green
1924 – 4 AugustKathleen Gawne (who also owned the freehold)
1925 – 30 DecemberThe freehold is transferred to Francis Sidey, a merchant of Wellington.
1926 – 20 SeptemberWilliam Hugh Long
1927 – 21 NovemberHerbert Farmer
1928 – 20 JulyWilliam McFarlane
1928 – 8 OctoberErnest John Nash
1929 – 9 SeptemberFrederick Henry Rennie
1930 – 12 NovemberThe freehold is transferred to Sarah Downes.
1931 – 6 NovemberCyril Henry Perry
1932 – 22 DecemberMargaret Aloysuis Baxter
1933 – 19 AugustStanley Roy Baker
1934 – 5 OctoberFrank McKeller
1935 – 10 MayThomas Gregory
1935 – 12 OctoberWilliam John Davidson
1936 – 6 MayJohn de Putron Manson
1937 – 22 MarchThe freehold is transferred to George Alfred Downes
1938 – 21 OctoberArthur John Allison
1939 – 2 FebruaryThe freehold is transferred from George Alfred Downes to Alice May Allison.
1939 – 29 JuneMaurice Alexander Campbell
1940 – 18 JuneDorothy Jessie Campbell
1941 – 12 MayJohn (Jack) Rowlands, who was known to be a bookmaker (taker of illegal bets).
1945 – 28 MarchThe freehold is transferred from Alice May Allison to John Rowlands.
1948 – 10 MayThomas (Tommy) Samuel Blanchard
1948 – 9 JulyThe freehold is transferred from John Rowlands and shared, four fifths to John Hugh (Hugh) Marshall and one fifth to Charles Robert Williamson.
1948 – 24 AugustHugh Marshall (trading as District Hotels Limited) takes up Williamson’s share.
1950 – 20 SeptemberThe lessee is Robert (Bob) Fleming Crawford.
1952 – 13 MayPatrick and Oey Spratt. Ex-jockey Pat was a horse owner and trainer. These are prosperous times, with the constuction of the Rimutaka Tunnel.
1956 – 20 MarchThe freehold is transferred from District Hotels Limited (Hugh Marshall) to Patrick Spratt Stucco is put on three sides of the hotel.
1973 – 24 SeptemberThomas (Toss) Alwyn Wilfred Calton and Shirley Ann Calton
1974 – 4 NovemberBarry Gilbert Jones and Dallas Iris May Jones
1977 – 17 MarchAgnes Philomena Browne and Edward Leonard Noel Browne (Agnes runs the Hotel and Noel is a taxi driver).
1979 – 14 SeptemberPatrick Spratt takes back the lease.
1981 – 4 MayAn ex-policeman, Kenneth William George Brannigan and his wife Joan.
1982 – 8 NovemberPerry James Skinner (an earthmoving contractor) and Sylvia Skinner.
1984 – 23 NovemberThe hotel is bought by John Fleming Edmonds, a broker from Auckland and Michael Edmonds, a solicitor from Tauranga.
1984Kevin A.Burt (a former fireman) and Julie A. Burt
1985 – 17 JulyCharlene and Laurie Byers
1987Jim (an ex-policeman) and Dawn Keogh. Running pubs is a traditional occupation for ex-policemen, with their early retirement and their skills in handling unruly people.
1988 – 22 AugustJoe and Rose Ryan (Joe came from Blackfellow Creek, Australia)
1995 – 15 MarchHotel bought by James Joseph Ryan and Rosemary Ceceila Ryan.
1997 – 7 AprilMichael Shale buys the hotel and leases it to Graeme Rosewarne.They have the driveway shifted from the northern side of the hotel to the southern side, add a new porch to the main bar, build the northern verandah, with French doors off the bar, remove the coal range and its chimney from the kitchen,install a new beer chiller, and a new bar (builder, Ron Churcher).
2000 – 29 AugustMichael Shale takes over the licence. Graeme Rosewarne moves to Australia.
2001Michael Shale has a new toilet block built, and the gaming room relocated to the south-west corner of the hotel, replacing an office and a small lounge.
2001 – 15 OctoberThe Greytown Hotel is a national finalist in ‘The Best Country Hotel’ Awards of the Hospitality Association of New Zealand.
2004 – 31 MayGarry and Maureen O’Keeffe bought the Hotel from Michael Shale.
2005 – 14 SeptemberThe hotel is bought by Nicholls & Pearce Ltd and Nathan Williams.
2008 – 14 JanuaryThe hotel is bought by Trust House Ltd, Masterton
2009Trust House Ltd spend $1.1 million on full restoration of the buildings and land. The south extension of the restaurant and conference room is added, a new kitchen installed, gaming room is relocated to back of the building, new foyer bar created, stucco removed from building exterior and car park sealed.
2015 – 20 AprilThe business is purchased by Publican Tony Murphy and his wife Ursula they lease the hotel from Trust House Ltd.
2016 – 6 OctoberTony and Ursula Murphy purchase the hotel from Trust House Ltd.
2017 – AugustThe Murphys renovate the upstairs of the hotel leaving four guest bedrooms as a traditional country-style hotel. The rest of the upper level is redesigned into a 3-bedroomed apartment, for the family.