Railway Hotel (Former)

232-234 Great North Road, Winton

  • Railway Hotel (Former).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Karen Astwood. Date: 14/07/2011.
  • Railway Hotel (Former). Hotel façade from Great North Road.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Karen Astwood. Date: 14/07/2011.
  • Railway Hotel (Former). Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shellie Evans – flyingkiwigirl. Taken By: Shellie Evans – flyingkiwigirl. Date: 17/07/2015.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2567 Date Entered 15th December 2011

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Pt Sec 3 Blk III Town of Winton (CT SL138/5), Southland Land District and the building known as Railway Hotel (Former) thereon, and its fittings and fixtures. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).

City/District Council

Southland District

Region

Southland Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 3 Blk III Town of Winton (CT SL138/5), Southland Land District

Location description

Located on the west of Great North Road between Meldrum and Brandon streets.

Summaryopen/close

TThe bar has been open in the handsome Edwardian Railway Hotel in Winton since 1911. Designed by prominent Invercargill architect CJ Brodrick, replacing an earlier building destroyed by fire in 1910, the Hotel, now known as Central Southland Lodge, remains a meeting place for locals and travellers alike.

The small Southland town of Winton grew up around the needs of travellers making the slow muddy plod across the plain from Invercargill to the goldfields at the Wakatipu. The steady stream of miners and travellers encouraged the construction of the railway and Winton was one of the main transit points. The original Railway Hotel opened in 1861 and by the early 1870s was catering for rail passengers as well as those on foot. Surviving two fires which saw the destruction of many buildings in the town’s centre, the Railway Hotel finally succumbed to another blaze in 1910. It was rebuilt to Brodrick’s design and reopened in 1911. Since that time the Hotel has remained a community meeting place, social centre and a provider of accommodation for travellers.

The former Railway Hotel is a two-storeyed neo-classically styled Edwardian hotel building. On the ground floor it has shops and the bar facilities. The upper floor houses the accommodation. The Hotel is L-shaped in plan, with a formal façade to Great North Road, and a more utilitarian face at the rear of the buildings. The Hotel is built of brick, which has been plastered, and has a hipped corrugated iron roof. The street entries to hotel articulated by chamfered end wall and balconied portico, a moulded cornice and pedimented parapet with balustrading. There is a veranda over the shops. It is supported by cast-iron posts. The upper floor has arched double hung-sash windows and a projecting balcony. The "Railway Hotel" and date of establishment (1861) are picked out in raised letters on upper storey frieze.

The former Railway Hotel has architectural significance as an example of early twentieth century Edwardian hotel architecture, with its relatively grand and imposing façade, reflecting the status of the hotel in the Winton community. The Hotel represents the importance of such buildings in small communities, and as a building which epitomises an early twentieth century hotel still used for the same purpose. The former Railway Hotel, in its incarnation as the Central Southland Lodge remains significant as a community meeting place.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The former Railway Hotel has historical significance representing the importance of hotels in small communities, and as a building which epitomises an early twentieth century hotel still used for the same purpose. The scale of the hotel indicates the importance of Winton as a transit point on the route between Invercargill and Winton.

Aesthetic Significance or Value:

Sitting in a prominent site in Winton’s main street, the former Railway Hotel makes a considerable aesthetic contribution to the recognised historic streetscape in Winton.

Architectural Significance or Value:

The former Railway Hotel has architectural significance as an example of early twentieth century Edwardian hotel architecture, with its relatively grand and imposing façade, reflecting the status of the hotel in the Winton community. Its construction reflects the necessity of providing accommodation as an essential function of the building. It is a significant example of a relatively grand hotel building for a small Southland town. In addition it is a significant example of the work of prominent Invercargill architect CJ Brodrick.

Social Significance or Value:

Hotels on the goldfields were important meeting places, beyond the obvious gathering place. Hotels were used for other social functions: as meeting places for groups such as lodges, sporting and cultural groups, and also for coroner’s inquests. The former Railway Hotel, in its incarnation as the Central Southland Lodge remains significant as a community meeting place.

(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history

The former Railway Hotel is representative of the history of towns such as Winton which were once busy hubs for the travelling public. The Hotel shows the services and facilities that grew up to cater for the needs of the residents as well as the travelling public. As part of the wider network of travellers’ accommodation, the Railway Hotel illustrates the importance of hotels. Hotels have operated on this site since the 1860s and as such are an important part of the history of the local community, and have significance.

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

The Railway Hotel is associated with the prominent Invercargill architect CJ Brodrick, who is recognised for his contribution in shaping the architectural face of Invercargill, and more widely in Southland.

(e) The community association with, or public esteem for the place

The architecture and heritage of Winton in general is valued highly by its community, as reflected in the community-coordination of a heritage trail brochure (2001) describing heritage features of the town, street landscaping, and the presentation and continual use of many of the historic places in the main street. The Winton community appears to value its heritage features which clearly contribute to the community identity of this rural Southland town.

(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape

Winton has a strong sense of community and has acted as an important meeting place and rural service centre for a significant proportion of Southland’s farming population for over a hundred years, the surviving townscape, of which Railway Hotel (Former) is an essential element, recognises this significance. The historic townscape is recognised by the Winton Great North Road Historic Area.

Summary of Significance or Values

This place was assessed against, and found it to qualify under the following criteria: a, b, e and k.

Conclusion

It is considered that this place qualifies as a Category II historic place.

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Construction Professionalsopen/close

Brodrick, Cuthbert John

Cuthbert John Brodrick (1867-1946) was born in Invercargill, the fifth son of Thomas Brodrick. He was named for his uncle, the well-known Victorian architect Cuthbert Brodrick (1822-1905). Brodrick was educated at Southland Boys High School. In 1884 Brodrick was articled to F.W. Burwell and trained in the classical tradition, travelling to Melbourne with Burwell to complete his training. Brodrick returned to New Zealand in 1891 after architectural draughting in Queensland for the Government. In 1906 he married Jemima ('Nonnie') Thomson, stepdaughter of surveyor John Turnbull Thomson.

After practising in Hawera for six years he returned to Invercargill. Brodrick entered into a partnership with his pupil Thomas Royds during World War One. Royds died in 1936. Brodrick retired from practice about 1943. During his career, he served as President of the Institute of Architects in 1911, as Vice-President in 1917, and as a member of the council in 1935.

The first building he designed in Invercargill was the Alexandra building. Others (with partner Thomas Royds) included the Italian Renaissance Bank of New South Wales (1912), the Kaiapoi building, the Grand Hotel (1914), the Edwardian Baroque Southland Daily News (1913), the stripped Classical Invercargill Savings Bank (1926), the classical temple Masonic Lodge of St John (1926), the Georgian Waimahaka Homestead, and grandstands for the Southland Racing Club.

Brodrick was also a member of the Borough Council for three terms and became Deputy Mayor.

Additional informationopen/close

Historical Narrative

Ancient stories tell the origins of southern Maori, with the waka of Aoraki becoming Te Wai Pounamu (the South Island), and its sternpost, Te Taurapa a Te Waka o Aoraki becoming Bluff Hill (also known as Motupohue). The Southland Plains were when the waka capsized and the broad flat stern provided a resting place (Te Ra a Takitimu). The famous Ngati Mamoe rangatira Te Rakitauneke had his own taniwha Matamata who followed him on journeys from Kaikoura to Murihiku. A story related to inland Murihiku sees Te Rakitauneke travel to Omaui without telling Matamata, who set out to follow him. Discovering that his rangatira had died, Matamata was so saddened that he also died, turning into stone to create the Hokonui Hills, near modern day Winton. The Oreti River, running to the west of Winton provided a travel route for mokihi and nohoanga along the river provided bases for those who travelled inland for waterfowl, inanga and eels.

1853 saw the Murihiku purchase which left Maori south of the Waitaki (excluding the Otakou Block) with only 4,630 acres, the start of a long quest by southern Maori for justice questioning the legality of the purchase as well as the inadequacy of the land reserved.

Winton

The bush covered land that became the site of Winton was initially surveyed in the 1860s. These first surveys were contemporaneous with the turning of the first sod of the railway stretching north, from Invercargill, though construction halted shortly after. Construction resumed in 1871 and in 1876 Winton became a municipality and a key rural service centre.

The town centre grew, but suffered the fate of many nineteenth century towns, where fire posed a serious risk. There were major fires in 1878, 1901 and 1921. After the fire an ordinance was passed declaring that all rebuilding had to be done in brick rather than wood, and this is reflected in the surviving buildings.

Winton was a stopping place on the journey between Invercargill and Kingston. Businesses sprung up to service travellers, hotels were among the early buildings, three by the mid-1870s. The commercial centre was built on the west side of the street, opposite the railway. An early settler, James Welsh, noted that if you went up the west side of the road, you would pass 'nearly all the dwellings and shops in Winton at the time.'

The social history of the area is reflected in the buildings - the hotels in particular, relate to community concerns, and legal requirements. The physical structure of the hotel buildings was related to the Licensing Act. The 1881 Act stated that the minimum requirements for a publican’s license were: A front door separate from the bar entrance; Six rooms for public accommodation; beside the billiard room and the family room; Adequate fire escapes; A place of convenience; and, where required by the committee, stabling for horses.

The commercial centre of Winton provides a good example of small town late Victorian and Edwardian architecture. As Michael Kelly has noted such buildings were once very common but the 'general destruction' in the 1970s and 1980s has meant that some buildings which 'might have attracted comparatively little attention in the past, are now considered of much greater significance, again by virtue of their rarity.' The Winton commercial buildings represent the range of commercial activity earlier this century. In their continued survival and use, provide insight into the survival of small town rural Southland.

The original Railway Hotel (1861) was the first hotel and building of any size to be erected in Winton. The owners changed regularly in the nineteenth century and by 1900 it was owned by David Roche and Robert Sweetman. They leased the business to James Anderson Keith and Kate Keith in 1897. James Keith was the son of prominent Southland settler William Keith, and the family played a prominent role in the local community.

At that time the Railway Hotel was described as ‘a commodious hotel of twenty-five rooms’ situated close to the railway station. The hotel had a billiard room and large livery stables, let separately, which accommodated 100 horses.

The building was destroyed in the fire in February 1910 that damaged many other main street buildings in Winton. Keith was granted a permit to trade in temporary premises pending the completion of the new building. By March 1911 the hotel was operating from its new premises.

The new building was designed by Invercargill architect CJ Brodrick. It is a two-storeyed Neo-classical style Edwardian hotel building with three ground floor shops. The Brodrick family played a significant social and economic role in the development of Southland. Captain John Brodrick arrived in Invercargill in 1864. He quickly established himself as a commercial leader, as agent for Lloyds, National Mutual Company and manger of the Invercargill Savings Bank. His sons distinguished themselves in commercial, surveying and public arenas. The family’s connection to surveying was strengthened by CJ Brodrick’s marriage to Jemima, daughter of surveyor, engineer, architect, explorer and writer John Turnbull Thomson in 1906.

Cuthbert John Brodrick was born in 1867, nephew of the well-known British architect of the same name (1822-1905). In 1884 he was apprenticed to F.W. Burwell and travelled with him to Melbourne to complete his training. After working as an architectural draughtsman for the Queensland Government, he returned to New Zealand in 1891. Settling in Hawera, Brodrick practised there for six years before returning to Invercargill where he practised until his retirement in 1943. The architect was responsible for such historic Invercargill landmarks as the Masonic Lodge, Bank of New South Wales, Alexander Building and Grand Hotel. Brodrick was also President of the Southland Progress League, a member of the Borough Council for three terms and became Deputy Mayor. He was also President of the Institute of Architects.

Brodrick’s buildings demonstrate an ability to successfully accomplish a variety of architectural styles. Versatility was the key to his architecture. His style ranged from Baroque Revival, apparent in the Grand Hotel and Southland Daily News Building; to Classical and Italian Renaissance, exhibited by the Masonic Hall and former Bank of New Zealand; to domestic residences, some exhibiting an eclectic combination of styles. Brodrick’s 1946 obituary noted that his reputation extended throughout the country, ‘although he is probably not generally sufficiently recognised for his contribution to New Zealand architecture’.

The Keiths leased the hotel out to various licensees. James Anderson Keith died in the mid-1920s and his estate transferred the estate to hotelkeeper James Olive in December 1925. Olive died two years later and the property was transferred to his widow. She sold the property in the 1950s and then in 1974 it was taken over by New Zealand Breweries Limited, who in the guise of Lion Nathan Limited, sold the business to the current owners.

The current owners John and Nancy McHugh took over the business in the early 1990s, buying it outright in 1993, at which point it became known as Central Southland Lodge. Since that time the pub has become a focal point in Winton and district, with John and Nancy McHugh holding many community roles. They sponsor many events and provide a venue for sports and community meetings most nights of the week.

In 2011 Railway Hotel (Former) is a typical rural hotel. It provides accommodation, a private function room, bistro, TAB pokes and a franchised bottle store. It is a community based facility where many organisations and sports groups come for their meetings and social occasions. The Hotel has also been used as a centre for emergencies in events such as floods or snow.

Physical Description

Setting

Winton is the largest service town for Central Southland, with a population of 2,094. It is thirty two kilometres north of Invercargill.

The early twentieth century saw streetscapes change from double storeyed wooden structures to plastered brick shops and offices. In Winton single storey wooden buildings were replaced with brick and plaster shops. Neoclassical styles and features were favoured for commercial concerns. Architectural developments in Winton reflected the building trends in Invercargill. In Invercargill, 'commercial premises were designed to inspire confidence with their use of strong form and intricate detailing.'

While the detail was not as ornate as in Invercargill, the surviving commercial buildings in Winton do represent the range of styles adopted by prominent architects in the region in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Four of Invercargill’s leading architects are featured - ER Wilson, CJ Brodrick, EH Smith and FW Burwell. Burwell designed Winton’s Holy Trinity Church (1876), the earliest surviving building in the commercial heart, and one of the few remaining wooden buildings. As well as the hotel, Brodrick designed the Invercargill Savings Bank (1939-40). The Bank of New Zealand (1930) was designed by ER Wilson, as were the Anzac Memorial Gates (1929). EH Smith designed the Bank of New South Wales (1938). These buildings, with the remaining historic frontages, represent the way these urban architectural styles developed in a more rural setting.

The architecture and heritage of Winton in general is valued highly by its community, as reflected in the community-coordination of a heritage trail brochure (2001) describing heritage features of the town, street landscaping, and the presentation and continual use of many of the historic places in the main street. The Winton community appears to value its heritage features which clearly contribute to the community identity of this rural Southland town.

Exterior

The former Railway Hotel is a two-storeyed neo-classically styled Edwardian hotel building. On the ground floor it has shops and the bar facilities. The upper floor houses the accommodation.

The Hotel is L-shaped in plan, with a formal façade to Great North Road, and a more utilitarian face at the rear of the buildings. The Hotel is built of brick, which has been plastered, and has a hipped corrugated iron roof. The street entries to hotel articulated by chamfered end wall and balconied portico, a moulded cornice and pedimented parapet with faux balustrading. There is a veranda over the shops. It is supported by cast-iron posts. A fire escape runs across the front and rear elevations.

The ground floor has single keystoned, segmental-arched double hung-sash windows. The shops have full display windows and recessed entry.

The upper floor has single-keystoned, arched double hung-sash windows. An articulated plaster spring runs the length of the first floor and there are raised plaster pilasters with acanthus over astragal moulding. The balcony has framed wrought-iron balustrade. The "Railway Hotel" and date of establishment (1861) are picked out in raised letters on upper storey frieze. There is a French door to the balcony.

Interior

The ground floor is divided into an entrance foyer, two bar areas, a liquor outlet (taking up two of the original shops) and another shop which is currently occupied by a florist. The bar spaces are large and open and were originally smaller spaces for which the partition walls have been removed. The interior has largely been relined and the ceilings lowered, though the original pressed metal ceilings remain above. When the main bar was refurbished the cellar beneath it was filled in.

Stairs lead from the entrance lobby to the upper floor. Upstairs a central hallway runs the length of the building. There are 10 bedrooms (doubles and singles), a function room, and kitchen on the upper floor. The second floor has largely been minimally altered. The bathroom is shared, rather than ensuites within the rooms.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1911 -

Addition
1942 -
New outbuildings and store

Modification
1969 -
Renovate main bar, change lounge and dining room to lounge bar. New toilets, ceilings. First floor change bedroom into dining room, kitchen and store.

Construction Details

Brick, timber, corrugated iron

Completion Date

19th September 2011

Report Written By

Karen Astwood/Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1905

Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 4 Otago and Southland, Cyclopedia Company, Christchurch, 1905

De La Mere, 1981

A. J. De La Mere, Drink or Drought: Liquor Licensing and the Prohibition Movement, Craig Printing Co, Invercargill, 1981.

Hodgson, 1991 (1)

T. Hodgson, Looking at New Zealand Architecture, Grantham Press, Wellington, 1991.

Sorrell, 1999

P Sorrell (ed), The Cyclopedia of Otago and Southland, Volume 2, Dunedin City Council, 1999

Other Information

A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Otago/Southland Area 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.