Lambie Street was the original main street of Cooma before an eastward shift to Vale Street and later Sharp Street, the current main thoroughfare of this small New South Wales country town.

Lambie Street was named after John Lambie the Commissioner for Crown Lands on the Monaro from 1837 to 1852. Having now visited the street and realising that nearly every building on it was built by, or for, members of the Hain or Mawson family one has got to wonder why it wasn’t called Hain or Mawson Street. A case of pulling rank, of course.

A large number of the street’s original buildings remain (some showing their years more than others) making a stroll down the street, a distance of around 600 metres, a very worthwhile affair. In doing so please do remember, however, that apart from The Raglan Gallery and Cultural Centre and the Royal Hotel, at the end of the street, all other buildings in the street are private properties and not open to visitors – admire them from the footpath.

Starting at the top of the street, where it intersects with Vulcan Street, the first building that attracted me was No 7, a pretty brick cottage. This was built by John Hain and is marked with a JH. It was the home of George Gould, a Dublin physician who offered free medical services to townsfolk.

7 Lambie Street

A few steps further along the street is No 9, now the the Raglan Gallery and Cultural Centre.

No 9 – The Raglan Gallery and Cultural Centre

This small gallery (open Wed – Sun 9.30am to 4.30pm), also included as my main picture above, is well worth a visit. Entry is by gold coin donation – for non-Australians that means a $1 or $2 coin, both of which are gold in colour. The gallery features the work of local Snowy Mountains and Monaro artists – and has regular and changing exhibitions of paintings, ceramics, prints, photographs, sculptures, jewellery, craft, poetry and books. While some of the work belongs to the Gallery a large portion of the work is for sale at not altogether unreasonable prices.

The building started life as the Lord Raglan Inn, a licensed hotel named after Lord Raglan of Crimean War fame. It was built by the Hain family in 1854 making it the oldest remaining building in Lambie Street. The hotel saw tragedy the night before it opened. In an effort to dry the paint in a newly painted room in time for the opening William Hain, who was sleeping in the room that night, lit a fire in a bucket. He was overcome by deadly fumes and died.

After the hotel closed in 1860 the building had various uses, including Cooma’s first bank (set up to service the 1860 gold rush), a hospital, a private house and flats prior to it being declared a Heritage building and subsequently becoming the Raglan Gallery in 1968.

Number 19 is another fine brick building built in 1885 for the Hain family though later the home of Mr Ryrie, Honorary Magistrate assisting John Lambie.

19 Lambie Street

Number 30 is two storey brick building by Joseph Hain while 32 was built in 1884 by James Mawson using locally kilned bricks. Mawson also built no 39-41,47-49 and 51-53 while 55 was built by James Hain in 1855 for a certain Dr Merryweather who ran his medical practice from here for a number of years.

30 & 32 Lambie Street
47-49 Lambie Street
55 Lambie Street

At the end of Lambie Street, on the intersection with Sharp Street, is the Georgian style, heritage listed Royal Hotel, yet another Hain construction, built by James Hain in 1858.

The Royal Hotel

Often affectionately referred to as “Bundy’s”, after Mable Bundy who owned and operated the hotel for several decades, the major thing that distinguishes this hotel from many others of the time is its beautiful Victorian wrought iron lattice balcony, the only one to remain in Cooma after a general purge of balconies in New South Wales in the 1950s.

The Royal Hotel and its Victorian wrought iron lattice balcony

Long gone though are the hotel’s first and second class dining rooms.

Internally the hotel has everything one would expect to find in a cosy Australian country pub – including dark wood panelling and open fires. A grand place to grab a drink and reflect on your walk down Lambie Street, prior to moving on, if indeed you do.

My next Cooma review– HERE

Return to the beginning of my Cooma reviews – HERE


16 thoughts on “Lambie Street and the Raglan Gallery

  1. I loved your blog on Lambie Street – thank you. You did justice to it. I live there. I wish I could attach a photo of 19 Lambie Street after we gave it some TLC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eleni, I especially like it when someone related to a post I have written reads and comments…. especially when it is a positive comment 🙂 I would love to see an updated pic of No 19 and would be happy to add it to the post, if you were ok with that. You can email it to me at Many thanks again… Albert


  2. I like seeing everyday architecture from around the world, and Lambie Street seems to be a good example. I particularly like the balcony of the Royal Hotel.
    I often think of some of your Australian towns (especially in the outback) in a similar way to America’s wild west. Having been to neither I’m not sure that I should. Are there similarities would you say Albert?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Malc. That is a very good question you pose. I am not familiar with America’s Wild West having just visited New York, a few places on the East Coast and Los Angles. That said based on my impression of the US and my knowledge of Australia I think there would be many similarities.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely street with lots of interesting and fine buildings, Albert. I’m enjoying catching up a bit after a frantic few months, and I enjoyed wandering along Lambie Street with you and learning about the people who made and lived in it, and their stories. Very sad about the death of Mr Hain dying so tragically like that the very night before his hotel was due to open. Did the opening go ahead after that or did they postpone it? Thanks for this insight into an interesting little corner of your world. 🙂


    1. You have a good memory Sarah. I noticed recently that I had omitted Cooma and Goulburn in the big transfer I did when I set up on WordPress. I’ll move them (combining and updating as I do) between new stuff over the next few months.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this was so interesting. I’ve been to Cooma many times but you’ve taken me back 150 years or so to the original residents which is always fascinating. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and I am glad you found it interesting. I will be adding some more reviews on Cooma soon, to those already posted. Hopefully they will bring back some happy memories for you.


    1. Thank you Glenys – I hope you will find them useful. I will be adding info on a few churches soon – it is likely one of them with be hosting your wedding. It’s a nice little town, easy to get around with enough to keep you occupied for a day, depending on your interests, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

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