A simple schist building, Stanley’s Hotel at Macraes Flat, Otago, is now over 100 years old. Tom Stanley, the Kentish-born son of a sea captain, took over a ramshackle hotel at Macraes Flat, and decided to rebuild.
‘He quarried stone from the hill behind the Catholic church, bringing it down by tip-dray, and engaged the stone-mason from Hyde, an old salt called Budge, to “build me an inn that will last”. Budge, noted for his craftsmanship, his indolence, and his Falstaffian capacity for beer, erected an inn fit for a king. It took him five years; on some days he did not face a stone, succumbing to an invitation to “come and have one” before he put foot on the ladder. His payment was wholly in beer; and when, in 1895, the Earl of Glasgow unexpectedly arrived for lunch at a newly completed stone inn, a satisfied mason was back in his home town reflecting on his consumption for his toils – seventy two hogsheads in all.’
James McNeish, Tavern in the town. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1957, p. 214
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