Coldicutt House

753-755 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland

  • Coldicutt House.
    Copyright: Mrs Averil Norman. Date: 16/04/2005.
  • .
    Copyright: Mrs Averil Norman. Date: 7/11/2005.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2606 Date Entered 8th April 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as part of Lots 1-2 DP 24810 (CT NA1008/278), North Auckland Land District, and the building and structures known as Coldicutt House thereon.

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lots 1-2 DP 24810 (CT NA1008/278), North Auckland Land District.


The Coldicutt House located towards the south end of Mt Eden Road was constructed within the first decade or so of Auckland’s founding as colonial capital in 1840 and is a rare surviving example of a residence built in stone for, or by, a private individual. Although stone abounded in Mt Eden, the material was more commonly associated with the buildings of the Anglican Church, particularly in Parnell, and a small number of industrial or institutional buildings including Mt Eden Prison. The attractive building with Dutch gable roof, added dormers and tall chimneys reflects strong Georgian architectural influences and although largely screened by trees remains a familiar landmark to Aucklanders intrigued by its contended history canvased in the local media in the 1970s and 1980s.

The site occupied by the Coldicutt House was originally part of an eight-hectare Crown Grant made to George Graham in July 1843, a suburban farm holding sold six months later to William Coldicutt. The date of construction of the stone house and the identity of the person for or by, whom it was built, have long been a matter of conjecture.

William Coldicutt (1807-1862) arrived in the colony from Birmingham with his family as one of two skilled sawmillers on the vessel Osprey in May 1842 bound for the ill-fated Manukau Company venture at Cornwallis. The house likely to date from between 1844 and 1848 or shortly after was constructed as the Coldicutt’s residence on Manuka Grove farm. A 1919 obituary for Ellen Mary Coldicutt one of William Coldicutt’s daughters in law, states that William built the first stone house in Auckland, as far back as 1847, and that prior to this he lived on his farm in a whare in 1843. The house described as of dressed scoria, gable ended, with a basement for the dairy,contained a small rectangular hall opening into three rooms, off one of which was the kitchen. The three-quarter upper-storey accommodated two large bedrooms reached by a steep stair. The internal walls were whitewashed or plastered, and remained unlined until late in the twentieth century.

Following William’s death in 1862, in the property was sold by the trustees of his estate to George Nairn in 1864, but reverted back to their ownership in 1868. An auction notice in October 1874 advised of the mortgagee sale of the farm of 20 acres and stone house on Lot 97, Parish of Waitemata - the earliest written source to tie the stone house to the particular land parcel. Robert Joughin (d.1901) bought the farm and house for £600. Commencing from 1911 the property was subdivided into villa lots marketed as the Ellerton Estate, as suburban development extended out along the Mt Eden Road tram route. Title for the remainder of the property, the two lots occupied by the house, was issued to Joughin’s two daughters in 1925. The property was bought by John Waldie in 1941 who added the dormer windows and distinctive portico. Recognising the local heritage significance of the house, the Borough of Mount Eden bought the property in 1974, returning it to public ownership two years later. Minor additions were made around the mid-twentieth century; however the building retains its distinctive form and illustrates Mt Eden’s transformation from an early nineteenth-century farming area into early-twentieth-century residential suburb.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Roof sheathed in corrugated metal

Kitchen, laundry, bathroom, porch (rear)

1953 -
Central dormer; garage extended (north)

1958 -
Feature wall to south elevation (front).

Additional building added to site
1961 -

Flanking dormers added, roof replaced in asbestos tiles.

Partial Demolition
1979 -
Kitchen and bathroom demolished; verandah erected with washhouse attached (south rear)

2005 -
Roof re-sheathed with cedar shingles; chimney rebuilt; second chimney replastered; new roof to carport; balcony rebuilt.

Completion Date

30th June 2015

Report Written By

Joan McKenzie

Information Sources

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald, 12 July 1932, p. 6; 28 September 1933, p. 6.

6 March 1974

Auckland Council

Auckland Council

Auckland scrapbook, April 1974 - September 1974 p 169, ARC Serial 995.7203 A8; Auckland scrapbook, December 1973 - April 1974 p 210, 212, 218-219, 255-259, ARC Serial 995.7203 A8

Angelo, 1989

Angelo, Fay M., The Changing Face of Mt Eden: A history of Mt Eden’s development up to the present, Auckland, 1989

Prospect: The Journal of the Epsom and Eden District Historical Society

Prospect: The Journal of the Epsom and Eden District Historical Society

Thomas, Martin, ‘A 2012 Critical review of the evidence in regard to “New Zealand’s First Stone House”, 753 Mt Eden Road’, pp.61-75, Prospect: The Journal of the Epsom and Eden District Historical Society, Vol. 11, 2012.

Rasmussen, 1992

Rasmussen, Esther, The Family of William and Sarah Coldicutt, Auckland, 1992

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 Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.