The Horse & Jockey Hotel is located on Parramatta Road Homebush. The current Horse and Jockey Hotel was built in 1941 by its then owners Tooheys Ltd. The hotel was designed by architects Ernest Scott & Green & Scott and built by builders Alex Speers and Sons of Rushcutters Bay.
The building is located on the corner of Parramatta Road and Knight Street Homebush, opposite the former Homebush Theatre. The hotel is a two storey building constructed of light coloured brick and a tiled roof. A circular brick tower faces Parramatta Road bearing the name of the hotel. The ground floor external walls are encased in the original moss green tiles, a feature which continues in the internal stair cases to the first floor. Vintage style beer advertisements from c.1930s to 1940s have been restored to the external walls in recent years. Beer advertising is a feature of many hotels of this period. The bar and dining areas occupy the ground floor with the recent addition of outdoor dining area at rear. Like many hotels of its period, the upper floor contained accommodation. A separate entrance to the upper floor is located on Parramatta Road, though at the time of writing, the hotel does not operate accommodation.
Recent works have been undertaken at the Hotel to upgrade internal facilities. The internal design and configuration has been substantially altered, however there are still examples of original tiling and ceilings in the lounge area.
The Horse and Jockey Hotel was first listed as a heritage item on Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan in 1992.
There have been three Horse and Jockey Hotels at Homebush, though not all were built on the same site.
The original pub was built by Edward Powell in 1809 as ‘The Half Way House’. In the early 1840s it was leased to publician and jockey James Kerwin (known as Jimmy the Jockey) who re-named the Powell hotel ‘Horse and Jockey’. Kerwin then moved into another hotel and took the name with him. Unable to continue trading as Horse and Jockey, the Powell hotel’s name was changed to ‘Homebush Hotel’ until Kerwin’s death in 1855. Then the name Horse and Jockey returned to the Powell pub. There is evidence that this was still trading when the next Horse and Jockey hotel was built c.1883.
The next Horse and Jockey hotel was built c.1883 and was demolished in 1940. The hotel was owned by Frank Howe until 1892. In July 1892, ownership of the Horse and Jockey Hotel transferred to John Thomas Toohey and James Matthew Toohey, of the firm ‘Toohey Bros’. The Toohey brothers and later the firm they founded ‘Toohey’s Ltd’ were the continuous owners of the site until the late 1990s. Land title searches indicate that the hotel was successively leased to the following hotelkeepers:
- Leased from 21 October 1893 to Joseph Abrahams
- Leased from 16 October 1896 to William Watkins, hotelkeeper.
- Leased from 1906 to William Newell, hotelkeeper
- Leased from 4 September 1906 to Albert Arthur Thomas
- Leased from 10 September 1917 to John Henry Cross
- Leased from 17 September 1918 to John Henry Beale, auctioneer
- Leased from 30 January 1925 to John Henry Cross, part Lots 7 & 8, Section 19 DP477
In 1940, the hotel was demolished. The current hotel building was erected on part of the land on which the previous Horse and Jockey stood, though road widening of Parramatta Road altered the frontage by about 14 feet. Architects Scott Green and Scott engaged builders Alex Speers and Sons Rushcutters Bay for the demolition of the present building and the erection of a new hotel premises for the Horse and Jockey Hotel corner of Parramatta Road and Rochester Street (now Knight Street) Homebush.
- Leased to Sidney George Godfrey, hotel keeper from 24th January 1941
- Leased to Sidney George Godfrey, hotel keeper from 9th Februrary 1944
- Leased to Sidney George Godfrey, hotel keeper from 7th March 1947
- Leased to Sidney George Godfrey, hotel keeper from 21st March 1950
- Leased to Sidney George Godfrey, hotel keeper from 17th March 1953
- Leased to Sidney George Godfrey, hotel keeper from 19th March 1956
- Leased to Hurley Hotels P/L on 18th October 1961
- Leased to Daniel Clark, hotelkeeper and his wife, Jean Clark on 19th March 1969
Sid Godfrey (1897-1965), was a famous boxer, who after his retirement from boxing became a hotel keeper, most notably at the Horse and Jockey from 1941 to 1957. Godfrey fought at an amateur level but in 1916 attracted the attention of ‘Snowy’ Baker, who arranged twelve professional fights, six of which he won by quick knockouts. In 1917 he won the Australian featherweight title and in the next year, sixteen fights out of eighteen. Godfrey was dubbed the ‘K.O. King’ and was one of boxing’s greatest drawcards.A deadly puncher with a trip-hammer right as his speciality, Godfrey, with his aggressive ringcraft, delighted the crowds and earned £20,000 prize money. Out of 109 professional fights he won 79 (41 by knockout) and drew 12. He retired in 1924 from boxing. On retiring he managed some hotels and became the well-liked and genial host at the Horse and Jockey, Homebush.
In the late 1990s, Toohey’s Ltd sold the hotel. The building continues to operate as a hotel.
‘Contracts’, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 December 1939, p5
Fox & Associates, ‘Heritage Inventory Sheet’, 1986.
‘Land Title’, NSW Land& Property Information
Information on the Powell ownership and location of original Horse & Jockey supplied by Dave Patrick to Cathy Jones 2012.
Strathfield Council Building Registers
‘Strathfield and Homebush’, The Echo, 1890