A brief history of the humble public house

BRIEF HISTORY OF 'THE PUB'... Thank the Romans. Photo: Supplied

AN Australian institution, you can be forgiven for thinking that pubs started here in our own backyard or with our Irish cousins.

However, like most things in the western world, the roots of the pub can be traced back to the Romans.

As the Roman Empire expanded into Celtic Europe, roads were built to make it easier for their armies and merchants and colonists to travel.

On these roads, every 30kms or so, there would be a ‘Tabernae’ or ‘Tavern’.
All cultures prior to the Romans had drinking establishments, but this is the one that most influenced modern pubs. These Taverns were a lot like hostels where one could get a fufulling feed, a good night’s rest and enjoy the company of others.

In Australia, pubs were the first structures built in newly colonised areas, especially on the goldfields, and new towns often grew around them.

Pubs typically served multiple functions, simultaneously serving as hostelry, post office, restaurant, meeting place and even at times the general store.

Country pubs have come to epitomise regional living. They have a habit of becoming meeting points for all the locals and a calling point for visitors. With so many great pubs in our region, we’ll have to thank the Romans for their brilliant initiative.

BRIEF HISTORY OF ‘THE PUB’… Thank the Romans. Photo: Supplied