Thames North School (Former)
600 Tararu Road, Tararu, Thames
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Able to Visit
15th February 1990
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Sec 78 Blk IV Thames SD (NZ Gazette 1977, p.2480; 1978, pp.148 & 531), South Auckland Land District, and the buildings known as Thames North School (Former) thereon, and their fittings and fixtures.
Sec 78 Blk IV Thames SD (NZ Gazette 1977, p.2480; 1978, pp.148 & 531), South Auckland Land District
The building of the Thames North school was a result of the coincidence of the population expansion in the town with the development of the Thames goldfields and the passing of the 1877 Education Act which, among other things, made the provision of schools and schooling the responsibility of Boards of Education established under the Act. The classrooms were large so as to be able to cope with the rapidly expanding roll. The roll progressively declined from the early years of the 20th century and the school was closed in 1971. In 1974, in response to community demand, it was taken over by the Thames Borough Council and leased to the Thames Society of Arts and the Thames Operatic Society.
Historical Significance or Value
The Thames North School is a remarkable reminder of the population fluctuations of a gold mining settlement with its period of heavy and urgent demand for such community facilities followed by redundancy as the population rapidly declined following the hey-day of the goldfield. It is also remarkable in that the demand for the school coincided with the passing of the 1877 Education Act.
The Thames North school is a pleasing example of the larger primary school building which was common in New Zealand following the passing of the 1877 Education Act. It conforms to the general 'house style' of that period of the Auckland Education Board.
This building has pleasing streetscape quality. It occupies a prominent position in north Thames
Allright (1827-1906) was born in Kent in 1827. After training as an architect, he emigrated to New Zealand in 1854. From 1856 he was employed in various positions by the Auckland Provincial Board of Works, becoming Provincial Engineer in 1874. In 1877 he was appointed architect to the Auckland Board of Education. He held this position for 15 years during a period of major building expansion following the passing of the 1877 Education Act. In 1883 he was appointed engineer to the Waitemata County, although he retained his position with the Education Board. He retired from the Education Board in 1892 and entered into practice as an engineer, from which he retired in 1901. He died in 1906.
From 1881-85, he was a member of the Auckland Institute of Engineers.
A simple Victorian design; single storeyed with a steeply-pitched roof and plain barge boards with a slight curve at the lower ends. The symmetrical front facade has a projecting central porch entrance-way. The entrance has a triangular air vent in the gable, and there are triangular-framed ventilators in the main roof structures. Trefoil shaped vents complement the regular fenestration with its large sash windows with small pane divisions, and label moulds. This design was already established by 1877 as the 'house style' of the Auckland Education Board.
Trefoil decorated air vents.
Front room of school partitioned into three rooms
Two brick chimneys, and infant room partition and tiered gallery added
Shelter sheds and porches added
Roof reclad with corrugated iron
1874 - 1877
Major repairs and restoration work
Heart kauri timber throughout, with kauri shingles.
J. Warwick Kellaway, Education 150: From Schoolhouse to Classpace in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Hamilton, 1981
W A Kelly. Thames: The First Hundred Years, Thames, 1968
M D Ammon. 1988 The History of the Thames North School, Tararu 1877-1977, compiled for the Thames Society of Arts, Thames
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.