Shipwright's Arms Hotel

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Not to be confused with the Hobart public house of the same name.

The Shipwright's Arms is an historic de-licensed pub in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Balmain East, looking out across Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It currently houses luxury flats.


As one of the first licensed establishments in Balmain, it was built by shipwright John Bell in 1841. In 1844 it was named The Dolphin Hotel when it was leased to publican William Walker, a former convict who had been transported from Birmingham, England at the age of 16 on 24 May 1827. It was claimed back in 1846 by John Bell and renamed The Shipwright's Arms. Although numbered as 14 Darling Street, it is effectively the first building in Balmain's main thoroughfare, and one of only a few waterside establishments. A former favourite haunt of watermen and surreptitious after-hours drinkers, its license was transferred to Miller's Hotel in Manly Vale in 1965.


  • Davidson, B; Hamey, K; Nicholls, D; Called To The Bar - 150 Years of Pubs in Balmain & Rozelle, The Balmain Association, 1991, ISBN 0-9599502-6-5.