Stansfield House (Former)

30 Arney Road And 3 Arney Crescent, Remuera, Auckland

  • Stansfield House (Former). June 1986. Image courtesy of ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries. Record ID 1052-M2-6.
    Copyright: Auckland Libraries. Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 604 Date Entered 26th November 1981


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 17, Pt Lot 10 DP 222 (CT NA205/246) North Auckland Land District, and the buildings and structures known as Stansfield House (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 17, Pt Lot 10 DP 222 (CT NA205/246), North Auckland Land District


Stansfield House (Former) is a refined two-storey Arts and Crafts timber-and-shingle style house, occupying a prominent corner site on Arney Road in Auckland’s fashionable suburb of Remuera. It was constructed for Ida and Harry Stansfield in 1913, at a time that Arney Road was considered ‘the most elegant residential thoroughfare in Remuera’. The residence is a major and substantial design by the well-known architectural partnership of Bamford and Pierce, a practice responsible for a number of other important Auckland residences including Coolangata (1912) - a notable Remuera dwelling demolished in 2006. Noel Bamford and Hector Pierce both trained in the office of the renowned English architect, Edwin Lutyens, an experience that is said to have been highly influential on their future careers.

Remuera has been associated with the settlement of rich and successful Aucklanders since the middle of the nineteenth century. From about 1900, the palatial houses of the wealthiest settlers of the 1800s made room for the smaller, but often grander townhouses of the city’s commercial and professional élite. During the 1880s, the site of Stansfield House was occupied by well-known solicitor Robert Browning and his wife Kate (nee Buckland). In 1912, part of the Browning property was sold to Ida Stansfield. Ida’s husband, Harry Stansfield, was a highly skilled mining engineer.

As designed by Bamford and Pierce, Stansfield House had an L-shaped plan. It was clad with weatherboards on its lower storey, shingles on the upper storey and Marseille tiles on its sloping roofs. The ground floor contained three reception rooms, each with a fireplace, behind which ran a corridor or gallery. A rounded portico, with a small verandah above, marked the front entrance. The house was orientated to the north to maximise views of scenic Rangitoto Island from its drawing room, open verandahs, principal bedrooms, and sleeping porch set in its sloping roof. A service wing at the rear created a semi-courtyard, and contained the kitchen and laundry, with servant’s bedroom above. The residence also incorporated a large garden.

The design exhibits similarities to a number of other Bamford and Pierce houses. Although of similar scale to the former Coolangatta, Stansfield House - with its sweeping roofs, large gables and exterior treatment - is more cottage-like. A large rounded bay window in the drawing room and the ‘Juliet balconies’ were similar to those in the house designed for Dr Alexander Kinder in Parnell. The Stansfield house was recognised as architecturally important soon after its completion: it featured in the Building Progress in 1914, and in the Ladies Mirror in 1922.

In 1928, the property was purchased by Isabella Whitelaw, a single woman. In 1931 Isabella sold the house to her sister Enid, who was also unmarried. After 1940, the house passed through other owners, including the major Pacific trader Alexander Bell Donald junior, who owned the property between 1953 and 1978. Alterations were made in the 1950s-1960s, and again in the 1980s. More recent modifications have included the removal of the rounded portico; and construction of a substantial two-storey extension (to the north), a new garage and porte cochere and the reversal of a number of earlier changes - open verandahs have been reinstated on the ground and first floors.

In 2015, the house remained in use as a private dwelling.


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

Construction Dates

Kitchen altered; one front verandah (of two) enclosed; upstairs sleeping porch enclosed

Deck; garage

Second verandah enclosed; internal alterations

Two-storey extension (north); garage; porte cochere

Porte cochere (1913) removed; open verandahs reinstated; bay windows added; some earlier changes reversed

Demolition – 1980s deck and garage

Completion Date

3rd December 2015

Report Written By

Elizabeth Cox

Information Sources

New Zealand Building Progress

New Zealand Building Progress

August 1914, p. 1191.

Carlyon and Morrow, 2011

Carlyon, Jenny, and Diana Morrow, A Fine Prospect: A History of Remuera, Meadowbank and St Johns, Auckland, 2011.

Macky & White, 2010

Macky, Peter and Paul Waite, Coolangatta A Homage: The Life and Times of Auckland’s Most Admired Residence, Auckland, 2010.

Carnachan & Heath, 1969

Carnachan, J.S. and Heath, T.W., ‘Report Donald House, Corner of Arney Road and Arney Crescent, Remuera’, B.Arch. assignment, University of Auckland, 1969.

Ladies Mirror

1 Sept 1922, p. 13.

Archives New Zealand

Archives New Zealand, ‘Posting Boxes’, n.d., BAEH A867 22779 [9/1].

‘Pierce, Arthur Patrick Hector - WW1 17322 - Army,’ Archives New Zealand, URL

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand