Mt Eden Prison
Lauder Road, Mt Eden, Auckland
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Private/No Public Access
24th November 1983
Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)
Pt Allots 105 177 Sec 6, Area A on SO 51947-GAZ 1876 P-427
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
Building began on the Mt Eden Prison in 1883 using mainly prison labour. However, the prison which replaced earlier inadequate penal buildings on the site was not completed until the next century.
Built in rough-faced bluestone ashlar, these forbidding buildings are the impressive design of architect, P F M Burrows. After Clayton's death, Burrows, who had worked under Clayton, assumed the responsibilities of Colonial Architect without receiving the title. Burrows designed a number of important public buildings including the Christchurch Post Office, the Wellington Supreme Court House and the Waimate Court House.
The Mt Eden Prison has considerable architectural merit. Enclosed behind a massive wall the prison has a medieval character incorporating square castellated towers and Gothic windows. Some towers were later removed and the excellent chapel was destroyed during a prison riot.
Burrows had been supplied with plans of a gaol in Malta as a guide. However, he appears to have used an amalgam of ideas from pattern books for public buildings Clayton had received from England.
The prison is an impressive, albeit forbidding, landmark in the Mt Eden district and it is an important record of penal building in the 19th century.
Public NZAA Number
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.