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Inner West Courier

Inner City edition

April 15, 2008

The Oxford Hotel in 1874, now home to Zanzibar in Newtown
The Oxford Hotel in 1874, now home to Zanzibar in Newtown

Linda Daniele

You’d never know it from the look of the ZanziBar in Newtown now, but a stroll on King Street has you passing the site that gave the suburb its name.

Newtown’s namesake has been commemorated as part of the Heritage Festival, with a plaque recognising the site of the former ‘New Town Store’. 

Newtown takes its name from the weatherboard store opened by John Webster, a grocer and draper.

Webster named his store the ‘New Town Store’ to distinguish it from the established settlements at Camperdown, Cooks River and O’Connell Town.

The name Newtown was recorded as early as 1832, when the Sydney Gazette wrote: “the neighbourhood about the spot known as Devine’s Farm has obtained the name ‘Newtown’”.

A long history as a hotel then followed at the site, first as the Daniel Webster in 1863, then as the Oxford Hotel from 1875.

By the 1980s this had become the Oxford Tavern and from 2001, the ZanziBar.

A diverse line up of events celebrating local history for the Heritage Festival is being held until April 20. 


Marrickville Medal presentation at Petersham Town Hall, April 16, 6pm.

Aboriginal Heritage in Leichhardt Municipality tour, April 19 and 20, $25.

Sydenham Stuff-ups walking tour, April 19, from 10am, $5.

Tempe Walk, April 19, from 2pm, free.

Walking Tour of Glebe, April 19, from 2pm, $20.

For further details, visit: www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au

This article was first published in the Inner West Courier, Inner City edition, Page 10.