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Redcliffe/Ambassadors Hotel History

Updated: May 18

The Redcliffe Hotel opened in 1881, after the land was purchased by Patrick O’Leary on the 24th of December 1880.

J. J. Knight records a conversation between Mr O'Leary and a stranger during the building of O'Leary's hotel.

The stranger implied that he had been at Redcliffe during the building of the settlement, and from his reluctance to reveal his identity, as well as from other details he gave, it was thought that he must have been a convict.

The stranger pointed out a brick pavement which, he claimed, was the floor of the kitchen of the old barracks, about twenty or thirty paces from the hotel.

He also located a well and the boundaries of a stockade that had surrounded the barracks. Another writer of a still later period claimed that the foundations of the old convict buildings were to be seen as late as 1881, "about 80 to 100 yards due west, or a little to the north of west, of the Ambassador's Hotel" A convict's leg iron was found near this spot in 1970 and it is now in the Redcliffe Historical Society Museum. The well was unearthed in 1970 during the construction of a car park at the rear of the hotel.

Mr O'Leary sold the hotel to a Brisbane based architect Mr J.B. Nicholson for 1010 pounds in October 1887

The Hotel changed hands and was upgraded many times with Tom Moxley having the licensee in 1896 and Mrs. Tappolet in 1904.

Proprietors included Pat Talty (1913)

and Laura G. MacDonald (1926-35) had a new two-storey building erected in 1926 and changed the name to

“Ambassadors”, The hotel was saved from a large fire in 1930.

Photos from our Pictorial History of Redcliffe Book 1824-1949 - available to purchase at the following link:

During WW11 an air raid shelter was built in the lane to the south of the building and in 1964 this was converted to a bottle shop.

The Queensland Brewery was the owner during the 1940’s when the hotel became “The Ambassador”.

This name remained until it was changed to “The Ambassador of Redcliffe” in 2001.

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