Pubs of Burnside - Burnside Inn, Burnside Hotel and Feathers Hotel

Published on 27 December 2018


A History of Pubs in Burnside

Part 1: The Burnside Inn, Burnside Hotel and Feathers Hotel


B36707 - State Library South Australia


Pubs and inns have been a stalwart of many Australian communities since colonisation. The Burnside area is no different – but with the peculiar factor of many early European arrivals to Burnside being Protestant dissenters. Methodists and other dissenters dominated the state’s population and were mostly teetotalers, which explains why there were relatively few hotels in the Burnside area.  Those that were built were placed on running water, to provide water supply to travelers, and also served aerated waters. Despite moral stances on alcohol, beer was always popular as a way to avoid drinking contaminated water. It was also common, in the early days of liquor licensing, for hotels not to be purpose built but rather private houses that the owner had received a licence to sell liquor from.

The Burnside Inn was the centre of life in original Burnside village – approximately 27 and 29 High Street. The area developed around the Hallett Rivulet (now Second Creek), and in 1863 Caroline Clark and her children opened the Burnside Inn. Caroline’s husband, Francis, had died in 1853, and the family would go on to become significantly involved in South Australian institutions such as the State Children’s Council and The Register newspaper. Henry Warland, landlord of the inn, took over in 1865. Warland ran several other businesses in the area, including a blacksmith shop and passenger coach.

The Inn was an important meeting place for the community, playing host to election meetings and community gatherings. Sporting clubs, councils and coroners held court at the Inn. Travellers on their way to the hills would also stop here. At some point in the 1870s, Warland renamed the Inn to Burnside Hotel. It was owned for a time by the Edmeades and Co. Brewing Company, who constructed a hotel at 33 High Street in 1883 and also called it the Burnside Hotel.

NLA 1909.jpg

Burnside Inn remained as a small single storied building marking the centre of the original Burnside Village, until about 1909 when it was closed as part of a large wave of restructuring of liquor licences, reflecting public opinion on public consumption of alcohol. By 1920 cars and diesel engine buses were replacing horses, and better sewerage and piped water replaced the Eastern region's dependence on the local creeks or a spring or a well. This eliminated the need for the coaches that ran in and out of the hotels.

By the 1960s, the centre of Burnside life had moved further down Glynburn Road, and teetotallers no longer had the same grip on daily life. The Feathers Hotel was built in 1966 and replaced an old wine saloon on the corner of Glynburn Road and John Street. The houses behind the Feathers date from the 1880s. The Feathers was rebuilt in Georgian style - one note on the back of an old photograph suggests that residents would only agree to the building of the hotel if it did not look like a hotel. It has since become a recreation and entertainment centre of the area.

Original research by Diana Chessell, Burnside Historical Society.

Edited by Laura Evans, History and Cultural Officer.


Warburton, E. The Paddocks Beneath: A History of Burnside From the Beginning. City of Burnside, 1981.

Wright, C. Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans. The Text Publishing Company, 2003.

‘The Doomed Houses: Some Familiar Landmarks’. The Express and Daily Telegraphy, 1909. <>

Burnside Historical Society, Historic Self-Guided Walk: The Village of Burnside. City of Burnside, 2017.