Lady Bowen
Bed and Breakfast

Our History

This charming building has a very interesting history and has had many uses over its 150 years.


These include 
Hotel
Backpackers
Dairy
Private Home
Boarding House
Electrical Repair Workshop
Brothel
Backpackers
Guest House




In the Beginning


The Lady Bowen Hotel was named after Contessa Diamantina Bowen who was the wife of Governor George Ferguson Bowen who was the governor of the colony at the time. It was one of the first hotels in the Thames area and stood on what was then the main road of Grahamstown (as that side of Thames was then known). 
 The building was originally much smaller than what it is now and in 1882 the proprietor, Mr W Mahoney dismantled the hotel and used the materials when rebuilding and expanding the hotel into the two storied building we see today.  After the renovations the following was reported in the Thames Star on 30 September 1882:
"Unquestionably the Lady Bowen is one the most complete and furnished hotels on the Thames, and in some matters, notably, the size and fitting up of the bedrooms surpasses, perhaps, anything in Auckland. "
 Today the building is the Lady Bowen Bed and Breakfast and has a Historic Places Category 2 listing.  Guests can stay a night or two (or longer) in this charming old building which has been lovingly renovated into very comfortable accommodation.  The layout of the building is much as it was in 1882, with bedrooms and guest bathroom upstairs and the bar (now guest lounge) and dining room downstairs.  Of course it is a lot more comfortable these days but still retains the integrity of the original building.  We look forward to sharing this lovely historic building with you.

Through the Years


1930's FloodThird from the front as a single storey buildingLady Diamontina BowenAs a boarding house