Rob Roy Hotel

A hotel has been on the site at 127-133 Franklin Road, Freemans Bay since 1865 when a wooden hotel, called the Rob Roy was built - making it one of Auckland's oldest pubs. Due to the long history of buildings on this site, it is considered by the New Zealand Archaeological Association (NZAA) to be an archaeological site (R11/2499).

Patrons could reach the hotel by road or water because it was so close to the Freemans Bay shoreline.  From 1912 onwards, the bay to the north was filled in and Victoria Park was created.

Ref: 4-RIC54, Rob Roy Hotel, 1890-1899, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The existing Victorian hotel building was built in 1885-1886. In 1969, the east wing was extended and the hotel's name was changed to the 'Birdcage'.

Ref: Rob Roy Hotel in 1940, Auckland Council GIS Viewer
The Birdcage was moved 40 metres up Franklin Road as part of the tunnel construction to ease congestion on State Highway 1. The pub was moved back to its original site after  the new motorway tunnel under Victoria Park was completed and it opened earlier this year. A new open space called the Wai-atarau Plaza has also been created in front of the hotel.

Ref: 435-B4-203, Sir George Grey Special Collections
In February 2010 some 40 lots from the Birdcage from the hotel were auctioned by Cordy's at their antique and art sale. The lots included: vintage furniture, cast iron fountain fittings,a marble statue of classical figures (nearly 4m across), a pair of large whisky dispensers from 1900), cast iron spiral staircase more than four metres high.


  1. Brilliant. Love it! I'm DJ'g at Birdcage on Sundays now, so it's fascinating to know the history. Keep up the good work!


  2. That's great! Good to hear that - I'm sure it will add to the experience of working in this wonderful piece of built heritage. Cheers


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