31 Merioneth Street, Arrowtown

  • Cottage. 2009.
    Copyright: J D and M I Moore Trust.
  • Cottage. 2009.
    Copyright: J D and M I Moore Trust.
  • Cottage. 2009.
    Copyright: J D and M I Moore Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2103 Date Entered 24th November 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Sec 2 Blk XX Town of Arrowtown (CT OT308/35), Otago Land District and the building known as the Cottage thereon.

City/District Council

Queenstown-Lakes District


Otago Region

Legal description

Sec 2 Blk XX Town of Arrowtown (CT OT308/35), Otago Land District


Originally built on the edge of town in the 1860s or 1870s, this small stone cottage is one of several small nineteenth century cottages on Anglesea Street. The cottage has high aesthetic values and contributes to the heritage character of Arrowtown, one of New Zealand’s best-preserved gold mining towns. It is a testament to the ‘quiet and unobtrusive’ locals who built Arrowtown from a small, precarious mining settlement on the edge of nowhere, to a popular stopover in Central Otago’s thriving tourist industry.

In 1872, Joseph Woodhead, a miner, purchased Sections 1 and 2 Block XX on the corner of Merioneth and Kent Streets. It is possible the cottage predated the title being issued. This was not uncommon and later owners believed the cottage dated from the 1860s. Certainly Woodhead had need of a cottage from 1865 when he married Catherine Craven.

The cottage was built of schist with a clay floor and was divided into four rooms. Later a wooden lean-to with an extra bedroom and porch were added. The rear porch opened up to where the copper, the only tap and the long-drop toilet were situated. Also at the rear was a small coal and wood shed. Until around 1951, the only washing facility was the outside tap. The medium pitched roof, symmetry and small paned sash windows evoke a Georgian period, while the broken back verandah roof is an ‘almost ubiquitous Arrowtown vernacular form’.

In 1910, Patrick Tobin (1869-1941), of the Arrowtown Borough Council and Lake County Press, purchased the property for £70 1s 9d. A bachelor, Tobin bought the cottage to provide a home for some of his family after fire destroyed their home beside Tobin’s Track. Tobin began work for the Lake County Press around 1882 aged 13. In 1929 he joined the Lake Wakatip Mail as their Arrowtown correspondent until his death in 1941. Tobin was ‘ever ready to do a good turn…[and] was held in the highest esteem of all who knew him. His word was his bond and his friendship was a thing to be prized’. Tobin died in 1941 and the cottage passed to his widowed sister Anne McLintock. On her death in 1951, it was bought as a holiday home.

In 1952, a lean-to shed was added and wallpaper and scrim were replaced with Pinex wallboard. By 1997, much of the timber needed replacing as well as the roof structure. Architect Max Wild extended the porch and put a shower where the coal and wool shed had been. A shed extension was added to house garden furniture and sports gear, to improve the roof line.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1866 - 1878

- 1900
Rear wooden lean-to

1952 -
Wooden lean-to

1997 -
Rear porch modified and extended

Completion Date

13th March 2014

Report Written By

Susan Irvine

Information Sources

Miller, 1973

F.W.G Miller, Golden Days of Lake County, 5th edn, Christchurch, 1973

Queenstown Courier

Queenstown Courier

Bowman and Reid, 2005

Ian Bowman and Becky Reid, ‘An Inventory of heritage structures in Arrowtown’, Queenstown, Queenstown Lakes District Council, 2005.

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Regional Office of the NZHPT.

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.