travel and life with lee mylne

The pub that time forgot

Imperial Hotel Ravenswood. Photo by Len Zell

Opulent and ornate, inside the Imperial Hotel, Ravenswood. Photo by Len Zell.

Swing through the saloon doors at the Imperial Hotel in the tiny Queensland town of Ravenswood and be prepared for a shock. It’s all carved cedar, leadlights and ornate fittings, imported from England and France when the pub was built in 1902. Today Ravenswood’s almost a ghost town, but the grandeur lives on. After stumbling upon it by chance, it now rates as one of the most extraordinary pubs I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a fair few while researching my book Great Australian Pubs). This week it’s Tourism Queensland’s Pub of the Week.

8 Responses to “The pub that time forgot”

  1. Melanie Ball

    Great memories, Lee!
    I spent three days in the near-ghost town of Ravenswood on my round-Australia trip with my first husband in 1992. Loved the wild-west swing doors and carved bar of the Imperial Hotel. But I also had a ball in the town’s other hotel – the Railway I think. There we spent many after-closing hours, drinking cheap cask white wine by the beer glass and watching the Limited Over Crocket World Cup on the television as geckos dashed out from behind paintings of Queen Elizabeth to crunch bugs on the wall.

    • Lee

      Yes, Melanie, you are quite right…the other pub in Ravenswood is the Railway Hotel (you’ll see it gets a mention in the Pub of the Week story). Love your memory of the geckos…I have one that lives behind the noticeboard on my office wall in Brisbane, dashing around the walls and calling out to another one (location undetected so far!) that answers it. I love them…such a sign of living in the tropics!

  2. Burnie van Hilst

    I had lunch at this pub a few weeks ago. You walk into this place and you seem to be transported back to a time long forgotten. It’s a treasured relic of a past long forgotten that deserves to remain and the food was terrific.


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