The Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society was established in 1858 and held its first show in September the same year. This Show was held in the area of French and Thompson Streets. Later Shows were moved to “Bree Park” in the Bree Rd area of Hamilton.
A few years later, The Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society established themselves at the site now known at the Hamilton Showgrounds bordering Shakespeare, King, Park (now College) and Horner Streets. This area was gazetted by the Government as a site for the provision of agricultural shows and still maintains this standard today. The Showgrounds were originally used for livestock sales as well as agricultural shows.
During World War II the Showgrounds became a camp for a series of regiments who spent several months training in the area. The Show Society was recessed from February 1942 and paid 122 pounds compensation by the Military. In February 1944 the military authorities handed back the Showgrounds to the Society. The Society was then allowed to spend up to one thousand pounds on rehabilitating the site. The Shows resumed in September of 1944. The Red Shield Hut which was built to house the troops still remains at the Showgrounds.
In 1959 The Sheep Pavilion was added followed by the King Street Shed in 1986 and Ram Pavilion in 1989. The Hamilton Exhibition and Conference Centre was completed in 2010.
Users of the Showgrounds currently include the Hamilton Kennel Club, Greater Hamilton Archers, Hamilton Lions Club, Western District Umpires Association, SES and Hamilton Brass Band.