Grain Store (Former)

229 West Street, Ashburton

  • Grain Store (Former), Ashburton.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Milly Woods. Date: 7/02/2018.
  • Grain Store (Former), Ashburton.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Milly Woods. Date: 7/02/2018.
  • Grain Store (Former), Ashburton.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Ann McEwan. Date: 12/05/1993.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1807 Date Entered 26th November 1981


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Sec 193 Town of Ashburton (CT CB15K/1325), Canterbury Land District and the building known as Grain Store (Former) thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Rārangi Kōrero meeting of 8 March 2018.

City/District Council

Ashburton District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Sec 193 Town of Ashburton (CT CB15K/1325), Canterbury Land District


The Grain Store (Former) building at 229 West Street, Ashburton, built in the late nineteenth century, stands as a good example of Ashburton’s past and current links with the agricultural industry. It has architectural value in its distinctive style, particularly with its curved roof, and an interior which features considerable amounts of native timber, including kauri. It has historical significance for its associations with the early grain and seed industry.

The building was constructed before 1900, although the exact date is not known. Early owners of the site from 1879 through until 1891 include John and Matthew Oram, and the partnership of George Jameson and Albert Roberts. It is not clear if there was actually a building on the land parcel TS 193 at the time of the dissolution of the Jameson and Roberts’ partnership in 1883, though a warehouse and grain store was on their adjoining land parcel TS 194 on the corner of Burnett and West Streets. Albert Roberts continued the business until 1891, the successors being Rollitt & Co. Throughout the 1890s Rollitt & Co advertised for farmers to store grain at their ‘New Grain Stores, West Street, Ashburton’ and by this time the current building was built, possibly incorporating an earlier structure. By this time there were a number of grain stores lining West Street, as the Cyclopedia of New Zealand reflected in their 1903 publication, ‘…to-day Ashburton itself presents the appearance of a healthy, prosperous inland town, and that it is the centre of a rich agricultural district can be seen by a glance at the large grain stores situated in the neighbourhood of the railway’.

Fronting onto West Street, the two storeyed Grain Store (Former) building is constructed of timber framed walls, stucco and corrugated iron cladding and has a dominant arched corrugated iron roof on curved timber rafters. The upper part of the principal façade contains a central sash window with fixed side panes, atopped by a round arched ventilator, from which a flag pole extends vertically above the roof line. The ground floor of this street facing façade contains large paned modern glazing and a wide square loading entry door, being modifications carried out in the mid twentieth century.

In 1901 the building was in the ownership of well-known Christchurch flour millers and grain merchants, Wood and Co, and then from 1901 to 1924 it was owned by established grain merchant Hugo Friedlander. Murdoch Bruce took over in 1924 and in 1965 the property was transferred to Buchanan’s (Merchants) Ltd. By the 1980s the building was taken over by Peter Cates Ltd and was operated by that firm until it was sold in 2015. Over the years the other grain stores on West Street and the railway station itself have been demolished. The West Street façade of the surviving Grain Store was altered in the mid 1960s, with the ground floor wall being demolished and replaced with a new wall, windows and doors. Interior alterations have also been made. The building was added to at the rear in the mid 1900s and side and rear in the 1960s or 1970s but these additions are not part of the extent of the List entry. In 2017, an application for demolition of the building was declined.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Alterations to facade

Rear and side additions (not part of extent)

Completion Date

12th February 2018

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

Information Sources

Focus on Ashburton

Ross, J E, Focus on Ashburton, 1977

Ashburton: A History of Town and Country

Scotter, W H, Ashburton: A History of Town and Country, 1972

Ashburton Borough Centenary: Our Heritage 1878-1978

Silverwood, Beatrice, Ashburton Borough Centenary: Our Heritage 1878-1978, p. 1978.

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 Southland Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand