Neligan House (flats)

12 St Stephens Avenue, Parnell, Auckland

  • Neligan House.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Neil Connolly. Date: 1/03/2010.
  • Neligan House (flats). June 2013. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: peteshep©. Taken By: peteshep©.
  • Neligan House (flats). June 2013. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: peteshep©. Taken By: peteshep©.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 103 Date Entered 21st September 1989


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 2 Pt Lot 3 DP 36022 Bishopscourt

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The house derives its name from Bishop Richard Moore Neligan and was planned and built during his espiscopate (1903-10). It is the most recent addition to a significant group of historic buildings in Parnell including Kinder House (1856) and Selwyn Court (former Bishopscourt) (1865). Competitive designs were invited for the enlargement of the latter building in 1905. Plans for a brick addition were drawn up. However in 1908, while in London, Bishop Neligan decided that it would be impossible for him to resume occupation of old Bishopscourt and new accommodation was required. Bamford and Pierce, architects, were commissioned on 1 April 1909 to prepare plans for a new building and it was completed the following year.

Bishop Neligan resigned in July 1910 because of ill health. The house remained the residence of the Bishop throughout the episcopate of Bishop Crossley (1910-14) and much of that of Bishop Averill. Bishop Simkin succeeded Bishop Averill in 1940 but elected to reside at old Bishopscourt.

Neligan House was leased to Howard Mann who ran the building as a boarding house. Later the house became the private hotel 'Strathmore'. It was restored to use as a Bishop's residence during the episcopate of Bishop Gowing (1960). Like Bishop Averill, he was to find Neligan House too large for his needs and so moved to a smaller house in 1975. The building was converted into apartments and leased. Neligan House has had a long if irregular association with Bishops of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland.


This is an especially fine example of the English Domestic Revival Style, the principal exponent of which was Edwin Luytens who Bamford worked for in England. There is little applied decoration but the Arts and Crafts' principle of honest use of materials, principally brick, is adhered to closely. Consistent with these principles the house is irregular in plan and elevation. The large gables and prominent chimneys, although less complex than the grand country houses designed by Luytens, are the principal features of the house and give it its distinctive character.


It contributes to the historic precinct of the Deanery and Selwyn Court and makes a strong impact with its brick facade close to the street.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Bamford & Pierce

F Noel Bamford and A P Hector Pierce were born in New Zealand. Pierce was the pupil of architect A.P. Wilson and Bamford studied under Edward Bartley during the building of St Matthew's Church, which was commenced in 1902. Bamford worked for the renowned English architect Edwin Lutyens in England before 1907.

Bamford and Pierce were in partnership in 1906 and again from 1909 to 1917. Pierce was considered to be the steady worker of the partnership; Bamford the more flamboyant and creative. Bamford and Pierce designed buildings for the Auckland Exhibition of which the Tea Kiosk in the Domain (1914) is the sole survivor. They were also responsible for the house at 1 St Georges Bay Rd (1910) and Neligan House, Parnell (1910).

After the death of Pierce in 1916 little is known of Bamford. He designed the house at 28 Gilgit Road for his brother Dean in 1917 and worked for Gummer and Ford for several months in 1920. At some time he was employed by the Hamilton Construction Company as Clerk of Works. Bamford was Vice-President of the Auckland Architectural Students' Association in 1918 and was the Association's first "visiting architect".

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The style of Neligan House is English Domestic Revival. The main ridge of the tiled roof runs east-west and the north facing garden facade has a single gable to the east, whereas the southern facade which faces the courtyard has two gables.

The tiled roof does not have overhanging bargeboards and the gables spring from stone corbels. The tall chimneys are a distinctive feature of the overall form of the house. The roof is bellcast. The small chapel is at right angles to the main portion of the house and forms the eastern edge of the court. The gable end of the chapel has banding which consists of red and buff bricks. The very high standard of brickwork is a notable feature of the house.

The main entrance porch is similar to a Lychgate. On the west side of the building is a doorway with a brick arch and tile springing line. The garden front has verandahs at both floors. The main tiled roof continues over the upper verandah. At first floor level there are two cantilevered curved balconies. The windows on this elevation are casements with a distinctive pattern of small and large panes. The interior has a panelled hall and the stair is constructed of timber pegged together with projecting dowels.

Notable Features

Chapel seats donated by Bishop and Mrs Averill

Stone cross on street end of chapel

Brick boundary wall

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1910 -

1911 -
Porch addition, probably "outer porch" shown on the original plans, south side.

Prior to July 1919 - Attached outbuilding with "shed roof" constructed in brick on east side of house, adjoining the strongroom.

Prior to July 1919 - Enclosure of portion of balcony (first floor) outside bedroom on the north-western corner of the house.

1926 -
Brick study addition. Extension of ground floor verandah in easterly direction along front of new study.

Prior to 1935 Brick wall along front boundary. Brick garage erected to east of chapel.

1940 -
Gallery and dressing room (first floor) converted to three bedrooms. Study and sewing room (ground floor) and schoolroom (second floor) became bedrooms

1940 -
Verandah outside sewing room (ground floor) enclosed. Extended verandah outside, 1926 study addition enclosed.

1940 -
Verandah on eastern side (first floor) adjoining dressing room enclosed and combined with that room to become bedroom.

1940 -
Fuel bunker outside scullery removed

1961 -
Kitchen renovated

1962 -
Carport erected behind brick garage

1965 -
Internal restoration work, removal of sink bench and basin.

1975 -
Main entrance foyer reduced to a hallway, remaining space converted to second bedroom for flat 1.

1975 -
Rear stairs adjoining service area (west side) redirected.

1975 -
Internal partitioning, relocation of doorways and fire rating work on all floors.

1975 -
Construction of double carport.

1975 -
Conversion of detached laundry building (west side) to caretakers accommodation.

Construction Details

Brick walls, marseilles - tiled roof, wooden verandah. The main body of the brickwork is English bond; boundary wall, Flemish bond; elsewhere, stretcher bond.

Information Sources

Auckland University

Auckland University

Sheppard Collection.

School of Architecture, Auckland University

- B70 Bamford, F.N.

- P11 Pierce A.P.H.

- P29 Patterson D.B.

Church Gazette

Church Gazette

November 1909

Wises Post Office Directories

Wises Post Office Directories

Knight, 1972

Cyril Knight, The Selwyn Churches of Auckland, Auckland, 1972.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

E A Evans 'Old Bishopscourt and the Cathedral Library Auckland', Report for NZHPT, 1975



June 1906

June 1910 'Architect' p278-281

April 1918 'Students Architectural Associates' p175

Fleming, 1980

John Fleming, Hugh Honour and N. Pevsner, Dictionary of Architecture, London, 1980

The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition, Harmondsworth 1980

Averill, 1945

A W Averill, Fifty years in New Zealand 1894-1944: Recollections and Reflections of Archbishop Averill, Christchurch 1945

Gradidge, R 1981

R Gradidge, Edwin Lutyens, Architect Laureate, London 1981

Hitchock H.R.

Hitchcock, 1971

H R Hitchcock, The Pelican History of Art: Architecture: 19th & 20th Century, Harmondsworth 1971

Jordan, 1966

R F Jordan Victorian Architecture, Harmondsworth 1966

Weekly Graphic and NZ Mail

Weekly Graphic & New Zealand Mail

16 Narch 1910

Auckland City Council

Auckland City Council

B5/140/3 (Town Planning Department), no date

Plumbing and Drainage Plans 1926 & 1982 (Inspectors Department)

Building Permit file 41/462 dated 9.5.75 (Inspectors Department)

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.