William Higgins Gallery (Cob Cottage)

State Highway 6, Spring Grove

  • William Higgins Gallery (Cob Cottage).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Alison Dangerfield. Date: 27/03/2008.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1632 Date Entered 25th September 1986

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Tasman District

Region

Tasman Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 18429

Summaryopen/close

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The cottage was built for William Higgins, a sawyer from Bristol, who arrived as an emigrant in the Clifford in 1842. The 1849 census showed that Higgins resided in an 'earth' house with a thatched roof. It was situated on a 50 acre section then owned by an absentee residing in England. Part of the section was transferred to Higgins in 1858. Baigents acquired the almost derelict house in 1965, and it was restored with Trust and local help in 1985. It may be the oldest cob house in New Zealand, as well as a striking memorial of early Nelson as a community of small-holders.

This cottage is an excellent early example of cob construction, and is of very great architectural significance.

Set some distance back from the road, the cottage stands on its own and is a highly visible and attractive feature.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The cottage was built for William Higgins, a sawyer from Bristol, who arrived as an emigrant in the Clifford in 1842. The 1849 census showed that Higgins resided in an 'earth' house with a thatched roof. It was situated on a 50 acre section then owned by an absentee residing in England. Part of the section was transferred to Higgins in 1858. Baigents acquired the almost derelict house in 1965, and it was restored with Trust and local help in 1985. It may be the oldest cob house in New Zealand, as well as a striking memorial of early Nelson as a community of small-holders.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

This cottage is an excellent early example of cob construction, and is of very great architectural significance.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDSCAPE SIGNIFICANCE

Set some distance back from the road, the cottage stands on its own and is a highly visible and attractive feature.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION (Style)

A simple workers cottage with gabled roof and a lean-to at the rear.

MODIFICATIONS

The cottage has been re-roofed with pinus shingles and new cob applied to the exterior walls. The interior has been refurbished. Windows and dooors have been restored.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1845 - 1849
Built some time between 1845 - 1849

Construction Details

Cob walls with timber for gables ends. Roof was originally thatched, but had been shingled.

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.