316 Karori Road, Karori, Wellington

  • Glendaruel.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1365 Date Entered 30th June 2006


Extent of List Entry

Extent of registration includes the entire building, its fittings and fixtures, and the land comprised in Certificate of Title WN 441/261 but excludes the garage.

City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 10480 (CT WN441/261), Wellington Land District


Glendaruel, an early pit-sawn timber cottage, is located on the main road of Karori in Wellington.

Karori was settled early in Wellington's colonial history. The land on which Glendaruel is located was first farmed and occupied by Daniel Wright and his family. On Wright's death in 1856 the land passed to the trustees of his estate. Wright's will indicates that the land included a cottage and stables. However, it is unclear whether the cottage was Glendaruel.

The land was leased out for a number of years and in 1873 it was purchased by Stephen Lancaster, one of Karori's largest landowners and an important early local politician. Renovations to the building in the 1990s uncovered part of a newspaper dated 7 November 1874, which suggests that the building was constructed around or prior to this date. Lancaster also leased out the property and, from around 1877, it was occupied by the Colonial Architect, Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows (1842-1920). In 1878, a sketch of the cottage featured in an auction advertisement with Burrows' name underneath. Burrows remained in the cottage until 1883, designing some of his best-known buildings (such as the Wellington's Supreme Court building and Mount Eden Prison).

In 1907 the land was subdivided and the advertisement described the six room cottage as a 'very desirable HOME'. Prior to 1932 one room of the cottage was extended to include a bay window towards the north. Purchased by Charlotte Wood in 1919 and named 'Glendaruel', the house remains in the ownership of the Wood family today. In the 1930s an extension to the rear of the original cottage was demolished and additions made to the southern (Karori Road) side of the building. However, the house has remained largely unchanged since that time. The house has been well maintained and retains a significant historical association with the Wellington suburb of Karori.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Historical value

Glendaruel is historically significant for its long connection and historical association with the Wellington suburb of Karori. The land on which it is located was one of the earliest settled plots in Karori, and has been occupied since 1856. The property has been associated with notable figures, including Stephen Lancaster (one of Karori's largest landowners and an important early local politician) and Colonial Architect Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows, who designed his best-known buildings during his residence in Glendaruel.

Technological significance

Glendaruel is an early example of a pit-sawn timber house. The original portion of the house was constructed around or prior to 1874 and it retains original features from this period, including pit-sawn weatherboards and six-pane, double hung sash windows. The house was extended over time, with the last major changes occurring in 1932. It remains physically significant for the insight it provides into early colonial building techniques.

(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:

The property has been associated with notable figures, including Stephen Lancaster (one of Karori's largest landowners and an important early local politician) and Colonial Architect Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows, who designed his best-known buildings during his residence in Glendaruel.

(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

The building is an example of a well-maintained, pit-sawn timber cottage.

(i) The importance of the identifying historic places known to date from early periods of New Zealand settlement:

The land on which Glendaurel is located was settled early in Wellington's colonial history; it has been farmed and lived on since the 1850s. Although a cottage has existed on the property since 1856, it is unknown whether this building was Glendaruel. The earliest concrete evidence of the existence of Glendaruel dates from 1874. The house was altered to the rear and southern side in the 1930s but the original exterior of the cottage remains a well-preserved example of a pit-sawn timber home.


Additional informationopen/close

Historical Narrative

The suburb of Karori at the time of early European settlement was covered with forest. In the 1840s, the New Zealand Company classified the area as a country district, and subdivided 2500 acres into 25 100-acre sections. The land was gradually taken up, and by 1845 ten of the plots were sold and houses were built along with a chapel. In the early period up to the 1870s development and building was centred around the main road and sawmilling was a major activity, with many of the local buildings and houses in Wellington built with wood milled in Karori. The area continued to slowly grow and, although the population was under 100 (including Makara), its facilities included a school, butcher, merchant and stores, along with an asylum. From the 1870s onwards there was an increase in the subdivision of the original 100-acre parcels, but development continued to be slow as access to Wellington city was limited. However, this improved with the construction of 'The Deviation' (currently Chaytor Street) in 1891 and the clearing of Raroa Road in 1892. Karori became a borough in 1891, and by the turn of the twentieth century the suburb began take its modern shape, with electricity connected and the Karori Tunnel completed in 1900, while tram lines were laid to Karori Park in 1911. In 1925 sewage and water lines were fully completed, and the subdivision of land and residential and commercial developments has continued through to the present day.

The land on which Glendaruel sits was one of the earliest settled plots in Karori, and the earliest recorded owner of the section was Daniel Wright (1823-1856). Wright formally acquired the land, 20 acres of Section 39, through a crown grant in 1856. He died that same year and the earliest known reference to a building on the site is in his will, dated 1855: my dear wife Henrietta Wright I give and bequeath all the use and occupation and rents receivable due or accruing or which may become due of accrue from... Section 39 Karori District... being 20 acres more or less and which is my own freehold property together with all the building and improvements thereon to her own use and benefit during her lifetime... and my said wife shall have an enjoy either to occupy and live thereon herself or to let and receive the rents herself...

The will suggests that there were buildings on the land. However, it is unclear whether Glendaruel was the one of those mentioned in this document.

While the will bequeathed the land to Wright's wife, the Commissioner of Lands ruled that the land was to be vested with John Brown Reading and Edward Standen, who were trustees of the estate. In 1873 this title was then transferred to Stephen Lancaster, who was one of Karori's largest landowners and an important early local politician. Renovations to the building in the 1990s uncovered part of a newspaper dated 7 November 1874, which suggests that the building was constructed around or prior to this date. Lancaster leased the land, and one of the tenants of the house during this time was the colonial architect, Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows (1842-1920).

Burrows was of Huguenot descent and born in Norwich, England in 1842. In 1865 he arrived in Auckland on the Victory, with his brother, marrying Sarah Turner in 1865. In 1874 he became a draughtsman in the Colonial Architects Office in the Public Works Department, based in Wellington. He was appointed Chief Draughtsman in 1875, and then replaced William Clayton, the Colonial Architect, who had previously designed the Government Buildings and Government House in 1877. However, Burrows did not receive Clayton's salary or official title. In 1878 he became 'Chief Draughtsman, Architect North Island' following restructuring in the Public Works Department. He moved to Glendaruel around this same period and remained there until 1883. In an advertisement for a Bethunes & Co land auction in 1878 there is a small sketch of Glendaruel, then a simple, two-room cottage, with Burrows' name underneath it. During his residence at Glendaruel, Burrows designed his best-known buildings including Wellington's Supreme Court building (1879). Burrows was also responsible for the Mount Cook barracks in Wellington, and the south wing extension of Wellington's Government Buildings (1897). The position of 'Chief Draughtsman' was retrenched in 1884, and he returned to Auckland where he worked privately, before working as a temporary draughtsman in Hunterville, working on the main trunk line. He retired in 1908 and died 21 April 1920.

In 1899 Lancaster died and his executors William Fry Newcombe and Thomas William Lewer obtained probate. They applied to bring section 39 and 40 under the Land Transfer Act in 1907. The land was subdivided in 1908, and sections were offered for sale. Glendaruel is featured on the auction poster for 'Lancaster Estate' of that year which has sidebar notice of 'A very desirable HOME containing 6 rooms, stables etc, erected on Section Nos. 440 and 441 having a total frontage of 126ft. 8in. to the Main Road'. In October 1910 lots 439-441 were sold to Henry Taylor Marshall, who on sold them to Charles Austin Briggs, Company Manager in May 1914. In February 1919 Angus Melville Polson acquired the land from the Briggs estate.

In May 1919, Charlotte Eliza Wood, purchased the land and property. Charlotte Wood was the daughter of Dr James MacGregor, a Scottish Minister, who had also been a Professor in the Free Church Theological College in Edinburgh. Following the death of two children to tuberculosis, the family emigrated, and arrived in New Zealand on the Jessie Reedman. The family lived in Oamaru, where MacGregor became First Minister of the Columba Church. Charlotte attended Otago University, where she graduated with an MA with Honours and became a secondary school teacher. In 1904 she met Robert Wood, whom she married in 1906. Robert Wood was born in Leith, Scotland in 1852. After working as a youth he became involved in the temperance movement. Whilst studying for his ordinance at the Free Church of Scotland, he agreed to do missionary work, and arrived in New Zealand in 1877. He spent time at the first Church in Dunedin and Masterton. He was a minister in Southland and North Canterbury, and also spent time in Island bay and Seatoun. On Robert Wood's retirement in 1919, the couple moved to Karori, where Robert Wood continued to be active in the local church and wider community. The Wood's home was named the house 'Glendaruel', after a town in Argyll, Scotland, with which Mrs Wood's family had had strong links in the past. The house has remained in the ownership of the Wood family since this time. There was further subdivision of the land around the house. In September of 1929 part of lot 439 was sold. In 1933 the land was divided into two lots. Lot 1 was sold in 1934 to E. A. Wing. Charlotte Wood kept Lot 2, and Glendaruel, until her death, when it was transferred to Katherine Wood.

Around this period the main modifications to the house were completed. In 1932, the rear wall was demolished and replaced with a washhouse, shed and porch, as well as a new bathroom and kitchen. Material from the demolished section was used in the construction of the additions. Other changes included changing the double chimney to a single chimney, the addition of a fireplace in the front bedroom and the installation of new drainage. Four years later a new garage was built on the property. In 1974, the house was re-piled and in 1975 the lean-to room was demolished.

In 1982 the historic significance of the house was recognised by both the Wellington City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Since then the house has been well maintained and, as can be seen in the historical photographs, the verandah/porch remains similar today to the way it was in 1919 and the 1878 auction advertisement sketch. Glendaruel retains unique features from the original colonial cottage, and has a significant historical association with the Wellington suburb of Karori, dating back to at least the 1870s. Katherine Wood continues to reside at Glendaruel to this day.

Physical Description

Glendaruel is located on the main road of the Wellington suburb of Karori. The cottage was built adjacent to, but at a right-angle to Karori Road, now the suburb's main thoroughfare. Glendaruel cottage now has a small garden surrounding the house, the remainder of the original section granted in the 1850s.The perimeter is fenced and there is a gate next to the garage that leads into the small front yard.

Glendaruel is a timber, single storey cottage that has been extended over time. The original cottage, depicted in a drawing from 1878, was a two-room dwelling. This portion of the cottage is still extant. It features a central doorway and two four-light sash windows. It has a gable roof of corrugated iron and is clad in plain weatherboards that are fixed horizontally, with each board overlapping the one beneath it. The front of the cottage has a plain, central door and a double-hung, four-light sash window on either side. It features a corrugated iron roof overhanging the original porch that has timber trellising and architraves. However, one of the rooms has been extended out over the slope to create a bay window looking north and a basement area. This portion of the cottage has rusticated weatherboards, which became popular from the 1880s. The interior of this portion features a central hallway. The room to the south is largely in tact although a fireplace was added to the western wall in 1932. The southern wall features an early double-hung, six-pane sash window. The room to the north (extended room) features the bay window and original joinery.

To the rear of the two-room cottage is an extension. It appears that this was constructed prior to 1907, when the advertisement for the Lancaster Estate described the property as having six rooms. However, the use of plain weatherboards suggests it was extended much earlier. The rectangular extension, sheltered by a double-gable roof, is now divided into further four rooms built around an extended central hallway with a small bathroom at the end (1932). The kitchen (located to the rear of the extension on the southern side), features a double-hung, six-pane sash window. An extension to the south, which includes a porch, woodshed and washhouse) dates from the 1932 alterations. A further extension to the rear (west) and a lean-to (north) have since been demolished. Some of the original interior features have been retained, including the ceilings, architraves, panelled-doors and skirting.

Notable Features

The front porch/verandah; double-hung, six-pane sash windows, plain weatherboards.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1850 - 1880

1932 -
Rear portion of dwelling removed, and replaced with a washhouse, coal shed and porch, along with a new bathroom and kitchen, with the material from the demolished part used for construction.

1932 -
Double chimney was made a single chimney and the fireplace was shifted into what was then the front bedroom.

1932 -
New drainage installed.

1936 -
New garage built

1974 -
House re-piled

1975 -
Lean-to-room made partly of glass demolished.

Construction Details

Glendaruel was constructed originally in timber piles, which were replaced with pre-cast concrete piles in 1974; timber framing; the exterior is clad in pit sawn shiplap weatherboards, although rusticated weatherboards are used for newer parts of the cottage; it is roofed with a corrugated iron roof. Original interior features include the ceilings, and the timber panelled doors, skirting and architraves.

Completion Date

14th June 2006

Report Written By

James Taylor

Information Sources

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust


Other Information

A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Central Region Office.

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.