Woodstock House

77 Covent Drive, Stoke

  • Woodstock House, Stoke.
    Copyright: Ed Kiddle. Taken By: Ed Kiddle. Date: 8/06/2008.
  • Woodstock House, Stoke.
    Copyright: Ed Kiddle. Taken By: Ed Kiddle. Date: 24/11/2010.
  • Woodstock House, Stoke.
    Copyright: John Warren. Taken By: John Warren. Date: 16/07/2010.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 260 Date Entered 15th February 1990

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent of registration is the land described as Lot 1 DP 399580 (CT 397341), Nelson Land District and the building known as Woodstock House thereon, and its fittings and fixtures

City/District Council

Nelson City

Region

Nelson Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 399580 (CT 397341), Nelson Land District

Summaryopen/close

Captain W.R. Nicholson and his wife arrived in Nelson (via Wellington) on the Woodstock in January 1850. He quickly established himself as a leading merchant and shipping agent. His company was responsible for building the first deepwater wharf in Nelson.

The Nicholson's second and third sons were born at Nelson in November 1852, and 'at Woodstock' in September 1854, respectively, so presumably they moved to their newly built home at Stoke sometime between.

Nicholson was involved with the early racing industry in Nelson and there was a racecourse for training in front of the house. He died aged 45 in 1863. His family kept the 75 acre farm running until 1878 when they sold up and moved to Taranaki.

Woodstock passed through several owners until 1920 when it was bought by H.E. Stephens. The house and 10 hectares planted as an orchard has remained in the family ever since.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Woodstock is one of Nelson's oldest extant houses and has had a long and settled history in the region. It is best known for its association with Captain W.R. Nicholson, a prominent early Nelson settler.

ARCHITECTURAL QUALITY:

Nelson is noted for its well preserved cob cottages; the climate and local clay are well suited to this type of construction. Woodstock is a quite substantial house and has an architectural sophistication which suggests a trained architect was involved in its design. This may be the only surviving example of an architect designed cob house in New Zealand. The form, with a large transverse gable and a central dormer gable was commonly used in early Nelson houses.

Woodstock is a well preserved example of cob construction, an early country residence and is of a particularly fine and picturesque design.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK VALUE:

Woodstock was built back from the main road and old photographs suggest it once had substantial presence in the landscape. It is now surrounded by large trees and the once impressive view from the main road has been lost.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

ARCHITECT/ENGINEER/DESIGNER:

It is popularly thought to have been William Beatson but it is also possible Maxwell Bury was the designer. Beatson lived on a neighbouring property at Stoke while Bury was a business associate of Woodstock's first owner, W.R. Nicholson.

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION:

Woodstock is an amalgam of Classical design, with the emphasis on symmetry, and Carpenter Gothic, with ornate bargeboards, gable and dormer windows.

It is two-storeyed with an essentially square plan. On the ground floor a corridor runs from the front to the back of the house with two rooms on either side of it. A narrow steep staircase ascends from halfway along the corridor. Upstairs five bedrooms and a bathroom are arranged around a central hallway. A long narrow wing extends from the back of the house incorporating a kitchen, laundry and garage.

The house has a wide gabled roof and the upstairs rooms are partially accommodated within the attic. There is a gable over the front entrance with ornately worked bargeboards. A verandah runs along the front of the house and is interrupted by an arch which frames the entrance and supports a balcony above the main door.

The windows are regularly placed along each facade. Most are double hung sash windows with small panes and heavy wooden sills (600mm deep to accommodate the cob walls). On the north side of the house two sets of French doors open onto the garden. Upstairs, casement windows have replaced the original windows. Two chimney stacks, each serving three fireplaces are symmetrically placed on the roof ridge.

MODIFICATIONS:

1930s - North gable weatherboarding was replaced by stucco to match that covering the cob.

Casement windows replaced sash windows upstairs on the north facade.

Timber kitchen wing built, replacing old cob wing.

At some stage the original shingle roof was replaced by slates on the front portion and corrugated iron on the back.

A conservatory on the north side has been removed.

Much of the original verandah decoration has been removed.

The concave verandah roof and paired posts have been replaced with a straight roof and single posts

An extra room has been formed in the north end of the verandah

Notable Features

Verandah and balcony detailing

Cob construction

Pan iron roofing of verandah

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1854 -

Modification
1930 - 1940
1930s - North gable weatherboarding was replaced by stucco to match that covering the cob. Casement windows replaced sash windows upstairs on the north facade. Timber kitchen wing built, replacing old cob wing.

Modification
1930 - 1940
At some stage the original shingle roof was replaced by slates on the front portion and corrugated iron on the back. A conservatory on the north side has been removed.

Modification
1930 - 1940
Much of the original verandah decoration has been removed. The concave verandah roof and paired posts have been replaced with a straight roof and single posts. An extra room has been formed in the north end of the verandah.

Construction Details

Stone cellar; cob walls to eaves height. Timber framed internal partition walls; roof, corrugated iron and slates. Brick chimney. Weatherboard cladding of gable ends. Pan iron roofing of verandah.

Information Sources

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Land Information New Zealand

CT 6C/737 prior 46/63

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

File HP 8/13/127, Photographs of Woodstock; Elizabeth Hansson, NZHPT Report on Woodstock, 1979

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Bowman, 1982

Ian Bowman, 'William Beatson, A Colonial Architect', Auckland 2005

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.