Town Board Office (Former)

Cox Street, Geraldine

  • Town Board Office (Former). Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Francis Vallance. Taken By: Francis Vallance.
  • Town Board Office (Former). Image courtesy of
    Copyright: PhilBee NZ (Phil Braithwaite). Taken By: PhilBee NZ (Phil Braithwaite). Date: 10/08/2012.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2020 Date Entered 23rd June 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Sec 1 442460 (NZ Gazette, 2011 p.4630), Canterbury Land District, and the building known Town Board Office (Former) thereon (refer to map tabled as the Board meeting of 12 December 2013).

City/District Council

Timaru District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Sec 1 442460 (NZ Gazette 2011, p.4630), Canterbury Land District

Location description

The land parcel on which the Town Board Office (Former) is located does not have an associated street number, but the address for the building (now the Geraldine Historical Society Museum) is commonly cited as 5 Cox Street, GERALDINE.


Built in 1885 on Talbot Street in Geraldine as the original Town Board Office, this small bluestone building served the Geraldine district for 80 years before eventually being dismantled by the Geraldine Historical Society and volunteers in 1969. With considerable community effort, re-erected as a museum at its current site on Cox Street in 1975-6. It has architectural, aesthetic, social and historical value.

The Town Board in Geraldine was formed in July 1884 and meetings were initially held in a timber building known as the Literary Institute. In February 1885, Dierck and White’s tender of £269.16.0 was accepted for constructing a purpose-built Town Board Office nearby. F Dierck’s quarry was situated on the nearby Geraldine Downs. The foundation stone was laid by Mr R.H. Pearpoint, chairman of the Geraldine Town Board, on 10 March 1885. On 1 July 1885 the Geraldine Town Board members took possession of the new office on Talbot Street. The building was divided into two rooms by a moveable partition, one being a Board room and the other for the use of the Clerk and Overseer.

In 1905, when Geraldine was declared a borough, the building was used by the Borough Council. It remained in use as such until 1965 when a new civic building was erected in Talbot Street, and for a few years became a depot for the New Zealand Railway Road Services buses. In August 1969, staff from the Ministry of Works, members of the newly formed Geraldine Historical Society and volunteers carefully dismantled the original bluestone Town Board building, and its carefully recorded parts were stored for over five years while funds were raised for re-erection as a museum. Grants were provided by the Geraldine County and Borough Councils, subsidy money came from the Department of Internal Affairs and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and donations came from the public. The foundation stone, in the building’s new location on Cox Street, was laid on 2 April 1975, and the following week saw volunteers cleaning, transporting and sorting the blocks ready for the block layer. The building was re-opened on 20 November 1976.

Now fronting the north side of Cox Street (State Highway 79) in Geraldine, the original single storeyed rectangular building forms the main architectural focus of the museum from the exterior. The walls are bluestone with white stone quoins, sills and lintels, with a string course of the same material. At the centre of the façade is a stone entrance porch, with the words ‘TOWN BOARD OFFICE’ below the cornice. Sash windows flank the porch. Earlier extensions to the south of the original stone building and a two storeyed timber addition built in 2014 to the south-east are not included in the extent of the List entry.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

D. McKenzie

Architect for the 1885 Geraldine Town Board Office (List No. 2020)

Messrs Dierck and White

Contractors for the 1885 Geraldine Town Board Office (List No. 2020)

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1885 -

1969 -
Town Board Office (Former) deconstructed and parts put into storage

1975 - 1976
Re-erection of Town Board Offic

Completion Date

26th April 2017

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

Information Sources


Finnie, Sandie, ‘Pride in our Past – the Geraldine Museum’, Latitude, 1 Nov 2014, pp. 124-126.

Kerr, 1976 [2]

Kerr, Phyllis, From the Beginning: Chronicles of a County: Geraldine, 1976.

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 Southern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.