Guildford Family Hotel
The Guildford Hotel was built in 1855-6. A combined music hall and stables building was added on the adjacent site around 1863. William Gaffney became the hotel licensee in 1861 and Gaffney’s Hotel was reported to have stabling for fifty horses and a long room fitted up as a theatre in 1863. A grand music festival was advertised at the hotel that year and the complex was also used as a coach office for Cobb and Co and for numerous sales and auctions.
In the early 1920s Pasquale Delmenico acquired the Guildford Hotel and it remained in the ownership of this family until 1992. The Delmenico family had arrived in Guildford in 1855, as part of a large contingent of Swiss
immigrants who settled in the area.
The Public Hall offers the ideal venue for concerts, workshops and the Jamboree Dance. The hall is the Jamboree centre for the weekend, housing information, reception, ticket and merchandise sales.
The Guildford Music Hall is a rare surviving example of a goldfields theatre. It was added to the hotel in the 1860s and is still owned and run by the Guildford Hotel to this day. The Guildford Hotel, Music Hall and Stables are illustrative of the development that took place in the town as a result of the gold rush and is the sole survivor of a large number of hotels built during Guildford’s peak of development. The complex, in particular the Music Hall, played an important role in the life of the town as a community meeting place.
Other surviving examples of Goldfields music halls are the Star Theatre, built in Chiltern in 1865 and the former Royal Hotel and Theatre, built in Maldon in 1857.
Originally Constructed by local resident Glen Bale and installed on the outside of his shed, it has since been donated by the Bales to the Guildford community. The Big Banjo now shines bright and clear most nights as a beacon for the town!
General Store & Stables
The Guildford General Store is a great place to stock up on provisions, grab a meal, a snack, a cup of coffee, or just sit outside and participate in one of the sessions which are sure to be happening most of the daylight and evening hours.
The Big Tree
The Big Tree is a large, well-preserved River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), located at the corner of Fryers Street and Ballarat Street. It is thought to be one of the largest in Victoria, with a height of 34 metres and circumference of 9.35 metres at the base. The tree is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 years old.
The Big Tree is listed as a tree of State significance on the National Trust’s Register of Significant Trees of Victoria for its “outstanding size, curious fusion of branches, as an outstanding example of the species and as an important landmark.”
The National Trust regards its conservation as vital to the local community and the state as a whole. Already an ancient giant when the first white settlers arrived in the 1840s, the Big Tree has played an important part in the cultural and social life of the Guildford community. This wonderful tree survives as an important symbol and a link between our community and its traditional owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung people.
Many of the volunteers who make the Guildford Banjo Jamboree possible are members of the CFA. In addition to assisting in the running of the Jamboree, members will keep the Fire Station open at various times during the weekend, serving hearty breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings.