The Earl of Aberdeen Hotel, built in 1879-80, is an important part of Adelaide's original network of corner pubs. It shows the features of two different periods: a simple 19th Century style in the original part and a more elaborate 20th Century addition built in 1924.
The two stages of the building are blended by a verandah and balcony. The original section is remarkably intact and has been enhanced by later renovations.
The hotel is built of bluestone walling with red brick quoins and surrounds to windows and doorways. The verandah and balcony are mainly timber, with cast iron panels used for the balustrade. The 1924 addition is in brick with rendered detailing. The interior is largely original but has been altered in line with changing trends in hotel interior renovation.
There have been two extensions to the Earl of Aberdeen, to the south and east. A gazebo of red brick and glass is used as a restaurant, and a solid red brick section in the south-east corner of the new building is a bottle shop and sales area.
This hotel was built at the height of the building boom in 19th Century Adelaide. It replaced the Devon Arms Hotel, established on this site in 1850. The Devon Arms was on a major coach route to the city from Mitcham and beyond. From 1850 to 1857, it was the first major hotel passed on entering the city.
Until the 1860s, the land around Hurtle Square was vacant. In the years that followed, it was redeveloped, with a mill, a factory, cottages and houses appearing. The hotel was extended to the north in 1924. At that time the verandah and balcony were built across the Pulteney Street facade, returning along the Carrington Street facade to unite the two buildings.
In 1987, the pub was renovated and officially opened by celebrity Dame Edna Everage as the Coopers Alehouse. Since then it has been the home to South Australia’s last remaining local major brewer.