History: Looking Back

Looking Back Feature: Little House on the Hill, The Denmark Hotel

YOU can’t help but notice the declining health of the grand old lady from the past when passing through Bulli. The Denmark Hotel, “The Little House on the Hill”, sits as a dejected monument to one of the region’s entrepreneurial pioneers. Expectations are high, but not assured that the exterior of the building will be saved after a proposal to redevelop the Denmark as upmarket residential apartments. Work, however has stalled, and word is that the developer is experiencing problems with Wollongong City Council. The former pub was established by Danish immigrant Jens Peter Oluf Orvad in 1876. Orvad served in the Danish Navy before immigrating to Australia with the fall of Denmark to Prussia in the 1864 war. He arrived in Sydney in 1866 and by 1869 had made his way to Wollongong, marrying Honorah Madden.

Looking Back

The Old Denmark Hotel, Bulli 2015... Waiting for restoration. The Old Denmark Hotel, Bulli 2015… Waiting for restoration.

By MICK ROBERTS ©

YOU can’t help but notice the declining health of the grand old lady from the past when passing through Bulli.

The Denmark Hotel, “The Little House on the Hill”, sits as a dejected monument to one of the region’s entrepreneurial pioneers.

Old Bulli village C1880, showing inset Orvad's Denmark Hotel. A single storey weatherboard and slab dwellings. "Orvad's"can be seen painted on the side of the building. Old Bulli village C1880, showing inset Orvad’s Denmark Hotel. A single storey weatherboard and slab dwellings. “Orvad’s”can be seen painted on the side of the building.

Expectations are high, but not assured that the exterior of the building will be saved after a Sydney developer’s intentions to restore the Denmark as upmarket residential apartments. Work, however has stalled, and word is that the developer is experiencing problems with Wollongong City Council.

The former pub was established by Danish immigrant Jens Peter Oluf Orvad in 1877. Orvad served in the Danish Navy before immigrating to Australia with the…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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