The Old Appin Inn

If you have an eye for history or architecture or hotels, and you’ve visited the town of Appin (near Campbelltown in Western Sydney), you will have probably noticed an old derelict building not far from the church. Though in a poor state of repair, the old Appin Inn is a lovely building which I had an opportunity to visit about five years ago when Appin celebrated its bi-centenary.

As I wrote at the time

“I have a connection to the pub across the road” I told the woman who was looking after things at St Bede’s Catholic Church in Appin today. “Two of my ancestors ran the pub back in the 1840s”, I told her, referring to William Rixon and Ann Hoare. “There was a close connection between the church and the pub” she told me, pointing to the family, the Carolls who owned the pub and who ran it as a guest and boarding house, who were buried in the graveyard. “The sisters also used to have rooms there”, she added.

If you like, you can see some photographs taken on the day which give you a really good insider’s view of the building.

This week, there was a formal announcement of plans to restore the hotel.

Walker Corporation has announced its plans to restore the Old Appin Inn to its original state with work to begin in three months. The developer has committed to upgrading the historic icon regardless of whether its planning proposal for Macquariedale Road is approved. The estimated cost of the restoration is $1.2 million.

Living locally, fellow “Rixonites”, Margaret and Kevin Rixon went along to the announcement on Thursday, and with their permission, here’s some photographs Kevin took.

I’ll be seeing Margaret and Kevin tomorrow at another Rixon-related activity.

Tomorrow I’m heading off to Windsor to see a plaque unveiled at the grave James Rixon, one of my earliest ancestors to have arrived in Australia. James was a convict who was sentenced to be hanged, but who was transported instead, arriving in 1798. For 205 years, he has been buried in an unmarked grave at St Matthew’s Church of England at Windsor which, incidentally, is the oldest church in Australia, though the cemetery pre-dates construction of the current church. Thanks to the efforts of some keen genealogists, he’ll be getting a plaque on the grave. I’ll write about that tomorrow.