A brewery built Oatley Hotel in 1928 and the pub originally
attracted the nearby Oyster Farmers of Neverfail Bay. Back then,
Oatley Hotel was known as “the closest country pub to the
city”. The grounds of the pub were previously occupied by
Harrison and O’Brien’s produce store and a wood and
Through famous resident author John O’Grady the pub became
even more prominent. John O’Grady wrote the books The Weird
Mob (1957) and Gone Fishin’ (1962) which repeatedly featured
At the advent of the Alexander Mackey College (now Oatley Education
Centre) a pie shop was opened in the pub, where the Clock and Oyster
restaurant is now. The pie shop introduced the Oyster pie, which
attracted the attention of a journalist having lunch in the pub
one day. The journalist wrote an article for a Sydney newspaper
on the pies and John O’Grady and after this, people would
come from far and wide for these Oyster pies.
James Oatley 1770 – 1839
James Oatley was born in 1770 in Staffordshire, England. In 1814
he was found guilty of stealing two featherbed mattresses and was
at first sentenced to death, however he was reprieved but banished
to Australia for life.
Arriving in 1815, he soon set up his own business as a clock and
watchmaker in George Street, Sydney, on what is now the site of
the Sydney Town Hall. He received a pardon in 1821 and died in 1839.
He was buried on his own land, by that stage owning around 800 acres
In 1833 James Oatley received a grant of 70 hectares along the
Georges River, which he called Needwood Forest. It was subdivided
in the early 1880s in anticipation of the coming of the Illawarra
railway in 1884.
Oatley – In Early Days
Mr Oatley – the Celebrated Watchmaker