King's College Chapel

41 Golf Avenue; Mangere Road; Hospital Road, King's College, Otahuhu, Auckland

  • King's College Chapel.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 90 Date Entered 24th November 1983


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Pt Land Claim 269A Fairburns Grant (CT NA268/84), North Auckland Land District


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.

The chapel at Kings College was begun in 1922 and opened in 1925.

It is built of brick in a late Gothic style and features some very good quality brickwork and elegant stone window tracery. The interior is notable for its fine timber vaulted ceiling, and stained glass windows by A.L. Ward of Ladbroke Grove, London.

Designed by R. Atkinson Abbott, the chapel is especially notable, architecturally, for its pleasing proportions and good quality of construction.

It contains a memorial foundation stone to old boys killed in action in World War One. The building has very considerable historical significance as the chapel for one of the leading collegiate institutions in New Zealand.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Abbott, Richard Atkinson

Abbott (1883-1954) began his career in the office of C L N Arnold and became his partner in 1910. Abbott, whose career began prior to the passing of the New Zealand Institute of Architects Act in 1913, became registered under that Act.

He is best known for the design of Auckland Grammar School (1913) which is one of the earliest Spanish Mission style buildings in New Zealand. He also designed several branch buildings for the Bank of New Zealand including the Upper Symonds Street branch (1937) and several buildings at King's College, Middlemore, including the Memorial Chapel (World War I), the Memorial Library (World War II) and the Assembly Hall (1954).

Abbott was active in the New Zealand Institute of Architects, serving on its Council (1926-28), and on its Education Committee (1926-36). In addition he was Chairman of the Auckland branch of the Institute (1927-28).

Abbott was born at Parnell, Auckland. He was educated at St John's College and King's College after which he joined the architectural firm established in the 1870s by Charles Le Nevre Arnold. Abbot became Arnold's partner in practice in 1910. After Arnold's retirement in 1927, Abbot remained in sole practice for a time, but was later joined by G.I. Hole.

Abbott's first major achievement was in 1913 when he submitted the winning design for the Auckland Grammar School. The janitor's cottage was part of the design brief.

Abbot became a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1913. Five years later he prepared the winning site layout for the King's College site at Middlemore. In contrast to Auckland Grammar School, the buildings on the King's College campus were designed in a more conservative Gothic collegiate style. In addition to the main building at King's (Kings College Main Block, NZHPT Registration # 529, Category II historic place), Abbott designed the memorial church to Old Boys who died in the First World War (Kings College Chapel, NZHPT Registration # 90, Category I historic place); the library; a memorial to old boys killed in the Second World War; and the School's assembly hall.

For over 25 years Abbot was the architect for the Bank of New Zealand in the Auckland region. He is also remembered as the designer of the One Tree Hill Obelisk (NZHPT Registration # 4601, Category I historic place), constructed on Maungakiekie, One Tree Hill in 1939-1940.

Grinter, Albert George

Albert (Bert) George Grinter (1882-1974) worked as a builder on his own account in the South Island from circa 1910 until 1922 when he set up business in Auckland. By 1945, when it was renamed A.G. Grinter and Son Limited, the firm diversified into the manufacture of joinery to meet its own needs and those of other builders. During the Second World War (1939-45), the company specialised solely in construction.

Grinter undertook a wide range of construction work including schools, churches, hospitals and residential projects including private dwellings and blocks of state housing. In 1925-6 Bert Grinter won a contract for the construction of Stoneways, the Epsom residence of eminent Auckland architect William Gummer. In 1930, Grinter also erected a brick electricity substation for the Auckland Electric Power Board at The Drive in Epsom.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1922 - 1925

Information Sources

Auckland Star

Auckland Star

1 Dec 1922, p.2

23 Apr 1925, p.8

27 Apr 1925, p.8

11 Mar 1929, p.3

23 Sep 1930, p.5

23 Sep 1930, p.7

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald, 12 July 1932, p. 6; 28 September 1933, p. 6.

12 Jun 1922, p.8

Other Information

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.