St Alban's Church (Anglican)

4 Paekakariki Hill Road, Pauatahanui

  • St Alban's Church (Anglican), Pauatahanui. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Paul Le Roy. Taken By: Paul Le Roy – Minicooperd. Date: 24/08/2013.
  • St Alban's Church (Anglican), Pauatahanui. 2009 Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Public Domain. Taken By: Mosbourne01 - Wikimedia Commons.
  • St Alban's Church (Anglican), Pauatahanui. c.1898. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, /records/23181490 must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
    Copyright: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Taken By: Probably photographed by George William Barltrop.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1320 Date Entered 23rd June 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent of registration is the land described as Lot 2 DP 311366 (CT 44868), Wellington Land District and the building known as St Alban's Church (Anglican) thereon, and its fittings and fixtures.

City/District Council

Porirua City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 311366 (CT 44868), Wellington Land District


St Alban's is the second church to be built in Pauatahanui. It is located on the site of the pa Matai Taua, built in 1846 by the Ngati Toa leader, Te Rangihaeata, nephew of Te Rauparaha. In 1857 W. Blackie built a small interdenominational chapel on land donated by a local settler, Thomas Hollis Stace, for the purpose. By 1890 the chapel, which was also used for a schoolroom, was too small. The parish undertook to raise the money for a new church, and eventually the architectural practice of Clere, Fitzgerald and Richmond was commissioned to draw up the plans. The foundation stone was laid in August 1895, and Bishop Wallis consecrated the church in 1898 on St Alban the Martyrs Day (17 June). The original chapel remained standing until 1908 when it was demolished.

A simple Gothic Revival church, the building has lancet windows, external timber-framed buttresses and, in the interior, scissor trusses with knee braces. The apse is semi-circular in plan. In general the building is timber-framed, with rusticated weatherboards on the exterior and tongue and groove lining in the interior. It has a steeply pitch corrugated iron roof.

St Alban's church has served the Pauatahanui community for over 100 years. It has strong links to the early farming community of Pauatahanui, which raised the money for its construction. St Alban's has architectural significance as a well-resolved timber, Gothic church designed by Clere, Fitzgerald and Richmond, one of the most prominent architectural practices in Wellington. Frederick de Jersey Clere (1856-1952) was a noted architect in Wellington and, from 1883, was Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Church.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Clere, Frederick De Jersey

Clere (1856-1952) was born in Lancashire, the son of an Anglican clergyman, and was articled to Edmund Scott, an ecclesiastical architect of Brighton. He then became chief assistant to R J Withers, a London architect. Clere came to New Zealand in 1877, practising first in Feilding and then in Wanganui. He later came to Wellington and practised there for 58 years.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1886 and held office for 50 years as one of four honorary secretaries in the Empire. In 1883 he was appointed Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Church; he designed more than 100 churches while he held this position. Clere was a pioneer in reinforced concrete construction; the outstanding example of his work with this material is the Church of St Mary of the Angels (1922), Wellington.

As well as being pre-eminent in church design, Clere was responsible for many domestic and commercial buildings including Wellington's Harbour Board Offices and Bond Store (1891) and Overton in Marton. Clere was also involved in the design of large woolsheds in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

He was active in the formation of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and served on their council for many years. He was a member of the Wellington City Council until 1895, and from 1900 a member of the Wellington Diocesan Synod and the General Synod. He was also a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

Graveyard with pieces of Victorian monumental masonry.

Bell which originally came from the barque Inconstant.

Foundation stone laid: August 1895

Consecrated: 17 June 1898

Pulpit added: June 1960

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1895 - 1898
Foundation stone laid August 1895. Consecrated 17 June 1898

1960 -
Pulpit added (a gift from St Paul's Church, Waiwhetu, the pulpit originated from St John's, Featherston)

Completion Date

22nd November 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources

Bowman, 1998

Ian Bowman, 'St Alban's, Pauatahanui; A cyclical preventative maintenance plan', November 1998, copy held by NZHPT, Wellington

Bowman, 1998 (3)

Ian Bowman, St Alban's, Pauatahanui; A condition Survey and remedial action plan, November 1998 copy held by NZHPT, Wellington

Fearnley, 1977

Charles Fearnley, Early Wellington Churches, Wellington, 1977

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.