St Patrick's Presbytery (Catholic)

43 Wyndham Street And Hobson Street, Auckland

  • St Patrick's Presbytery (Catholic).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: H. Bauchop.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2645 Date Entered 15th December 2006

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City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)

Region

Auckland Council

Legal description

Allot 33 Sec 18 Town of Auckland and Pt DP 20041 (CT NA457/207), North Auckland Land District

Summaryopen/close

St Patrick's Presbytery, Auckland, is the only purpose-built Roman Catholic cathedral presbytery of nineteenth-century date to survive in New Zealand.

Erected in 1888, the two-storey building of Gothic Revival design was built as a priests' residence and as the administrative centrepiece of the Diocese of Auckland, the Cathedral complex of St Patricks and the local Cathedral parish. The presbytery was part of an important ecclesiastical complex in the city centre, initially founded in the 1840s by Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier (1801-1871), the pre-eminent Catholic clergyman in early colonial New Zealand. A stone cathedral within the complex was replaced in 1885 by a larger building, the Cathedral Church of St Patrick and St Joseph (NZHPT Registration # 97, Category I historic place). A few years later, the construction of a prestigious new presbytery was underway, commissioned by Bishop John Luck (1840-1896). This replaced a smaller timber structure on the site into which Bishop Pompallier and several other priests had probably moved in 1850, following the conversion to other uses of the first presbytery in the complex, which dated to 1842. Construction of the new building was enabled by a generous bequest from Monsignor Henry Fynes, a previous Administrator of the Cathedral.

The brick presbytery was designed by Edward Mahoney and Sons and built by E. J. Matthews. Costing £2,000, the imposing structure was declared to be 'comfortable and convenient, and a great improvement on the previous building.' The presbytery is considered to be a unique example of the strict Gothic Revival ecclesiastical work of Edward Mahoney & Sons, and is said to be one of the most rigorous examples of ecclesiastical domestic architecture of its type to be erected in Auckland, strictly fulfilling the notions of the influential British architect, Augustus Pugin. Pugin's architectural work and writings advocated the use of medieval Gothic architectural forms, and were important influences on church design and associated ecclesiastical buildings in the mid to late nineteenth century. There were close personal ties between Bishop Luck and Pugin that may have influenced the choice of style. Luck had grown up in one of Pugin's former homes in Ramsgate, England, and was friendly with Pugin's son Peter Paul Pugin, who was an architect on a later project for Luck.

For a hundred years after its construction, the presbytery continued to be the administrative centre of the Diocese of Auckland, the most populous diocese in New Zealand, which extended as far south as Gisborne and the King Country. It also encompassed an extensive Maori Mission. Clergy based at the presbytery also directly served the cathedral, having responsibilities for conducting services celebrating special religious events, including ordinations and installation of the bishop. The presbytery further served an extensive inner-city parish, with its priests providing a variety of pastoral care, such as ceremonies linked with important life-cycle events among other matters. Members of the parish and others met with the clergy at the presbytery for preparation for baptism, holy communion, confession/reconciliation, confirmation and marriage. Important meetings at the presbytery included an occasion in March 1922 when eighteen of Auckland's city and suburban priests unanimously passed resolutions supporting Dr James Liston who faced prosecution in the Supreme Court by William Massey's government for allegedly making seditious utterances at a St Patrick's night address in the Auckland Town Hall. Liston was ultimately acquitted by an all-Protestant jury and went on to become Auckland's longest serving Bishop. Several Administrators of significance have also served from the building. These include Matthew Brodie (1913-1915), who upon leaving St Patrick's Cathedral became Bishop of Christchurch and the Roman Catholic church's first New Zealand-born bishop; Monsignor Leonard Buxton (1925-1942), whose initiatives included the Roman Catholic publications The Month and Zealandia; and others.

The building remains generally well-preserved, although some changes were made in the 1960s and 1970s. The presbytery continues to be used to house the priests of St Patrick's parish and the parish office, and remains an important part of the Cathedral complex.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Historical

The place is historically valuable for its close connections with the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in Auckland Province, and with the development of the St Patrick's Cathedral complex, the only cathedral complex in Auckland Diocese. It is also significant for its close association with noted Catholic clergymen - including Bishop John Luck, Patrick O'Reilly and Henry Fynes - and St Patrick's Cathedral School, until its closure in 1979 New Zealand's oldest-running school.

The site is significant as the location of an early residence of Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier, the pre-eminent Catholic cleric in early colonial New Zealand.

Aesthetic

The St Patrick's Presbytery has aesthetic significance for its Gothic Revival style and detailing;

its formal presentation to Hobson and Wyndham Streets; its visual association with St Patrick's Cathedral; as an 'edge' defining St Patrick's Square; and for its contribution to the character of the Auckland Central Business District (CBD).

Archaeological

The place has archaeological value, lying within a religious complex that dates to the earliest period of European settlement in Auckland, and potentially incorporating deposits linked with that and later activity. The site may encompass the remains of a well in its northeastern corner.

Architectural

The building has architectural significance as a particularly fine example of an ecclesiastical domestic building and as an important example of the work of Edward Mahoney & Sons, a noted Auckland architectural firm. The place is outstandingly significant as the only surviving purpose-built

Roman Catholic cathedral presbytery of nineteenth-century date to survive in New Zealand.

Social

The place is of social significance for its central role in the pastoral care of Auckland residents for more than 150 years on the site and nearly 120 years in the current building.

Spiritual

The place is spiritually significant for its association with St Patrick's Cathedral, where special services and religious events are celebrated. St Patrick's Cathedral is the spiritual centre of New Zealand's most populous Catholic Diocese. Many of its events are planned and prepared in the presbytery.

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

St Patrick's Presbytery reflects aspects of the development of Catholicism in late nineteenth century New Zealand, including the symbolic and administrative importance of Cathedral complexes, and the improvement of priests' residential and working accommodation.

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

St Patrick's Presbytery was for a time the home of Bishop Luck, the fourth Bishop of the Auckland Diocese (1882 to 1896). Luck's close association with St Augustine's Benedictine monastery in Kent and his friendship with Peter Paul Pugin son of Augustus Welby Pugin (the

latter a major influence in the development of the Gothic Revival style as the appropriate architectural style for nineteenth-century ecclesiastical buildings) may have influenced the design of St Patrick's Presbytery.

As the residence of Catholic clergy since 1888, the building has been associated with a number of influential individuals in the Roman Catholic Church. These include Monsignor Patrick O'Reilly, Administrator in charge of St Patrick's Cathedral at the turn of the twentieth century,

who is better remembered as the person responsible for the reorganisation of Catholic education after the enactment of the Education Act of 1877; Administrator Matthew Brodie, who became

Bishop of Christchurch and the Roman Catholic Church's first New Zealand-born bishop; and long-standing Administrators Monsignor Leonard Buxton (28 years), whose initiatives included the Roman Catholic publications The Month and Zealandia; and Monsignor Brian Arahill (17 years), the architect of the liturgical programme for the Auckland Diocese by which changes arising from Vatican II were implemented locally.

The St Patrick's presbytery building also owes its existence in part to Henry John Fynes, another capable educationalist and administrator who was appointed to the position of Administrator of St Patrick's Cathedral in 1850-1851, and whose estate facilitated construction of the presbytery building in 1888.

The site is also connected with Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier, and with events surrounding the 1922 trial and acquittal of Dr James Liston (later Auckland Diocese's longest-serving Bishop) on charges of sedition.

(c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:

Buried deposits associated with the place may provide information about the development of the religious complex associated with St Patrick's Cathedral. Previous presbytery buildings are believed to have occupied the site. Evidence of a well is said to survive in the northeastern

corner of the site.

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

The place has special value for continuous service to the local community over more than 150 years on the site and nearly 120 years in its current building. The place has strong associations with service to the broader Roman Catholic community, being linked with the administration of the Diocese of Auckland for much of the same period.

(f) The potential of the place for public education:

Located in a prominent public place in the centre of New Zealand's largest city, the place has considerable potential for public education about the development of Catholicism in Auckland Province, the use of Gothic Revival architecture, and the work of the architectural practice of

Edward Mahoney & Sons.

(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place

Architecturally, St Patrick's Presbytery stands as a unique example of the strict Gothic Revival ecclesiastical work of Edward Mahoney & Sons. It is said to be one of the most rigorous examples of ecclesiastical domestic architecture of its type to be erected in Auckland, strictly

fulfilling the notions of the influential British architect, Augustus Welby Pugin.

(j) The importance of identifying rare types of historic places

The place has outstanding significance as the only surviving purpose- built Roman Catholic cathedral presbytery of nineteenth-century date to survive in New Zealand. In central Auckland, it is unusual as a nineteenth-century residence still in use for its original function, and possibly unique as a residence in continuous association with the same institution.

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

St Patrick's Presbytery is part of an important historical and cultural complex connected to the Catholic faith since the 1840s, which includes the Cathedral Church of St Patrick and St Joseph (NZHPT Registration # 97, Category I historic place). The complex is one of a significant group of nineteenth-century ecclesiastical historic places in central Auckland, which includes St Matthew's-in-the-City (NZHPT Registration # 99, Category I historic place); St Andrews Presbyterian Church (NZHPT Registration # 20, Category I historic place); the former

Synagogue (NZHPT Registration # 578, Category I historic place); the Baptist Tabernacle (NZHPT Registration # 7357, Category I historic place), and the Pitt Street Methodist Church (NZHPT Registration # 626, Category II historic place).

SUMMARY

St Patrick's Presbytery is worthy of Category I registration as a place of special or outstanding historical or cultural value because:

- it is the only purpose-built Roman Catholic cathedral presbytery of nineteenth-century date to survive in New Zealand.

- it is an integral part of an important historical and cultural complex associated with the development of the Roman Catholic faith in New Zealand and the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph, the spiritual heart of New Zealand's most populous diocese.

- it has seen continuous service to the local community through pastoral and other care for more than 150 years on the site and nearly 120 years from the current building. The place has also provided service to the broader Roman Catholic community for an extended period, being linked with the day-to-day administration of the Diocese of Auckland until recently.

- it is considered to be a unique example of the strict Gothic Revival ecclesiastical work of Edward Mahoney & Sons, and is said to be one of the most rigorous examples of ecclesiastical domestic architecture of its type to be erected in Auckland.

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Construction Professionalsopen/close

Mahoney, Edward

Edward Mahoney (1824-1895)

Edward Mahoney emigrated from Cork, Ireland with his wife Margaret and three children. The Mahoneys arrived in Auckland in 1856 where Edward set up as a building and timber merchant. In 1876 he established the architectural practice that later became Edward Mahoney & Sons, which for over thirty years designed and supervised construction of many Catholic buildings as well as churches for other denominations.

The Church of St John the Baptist, Parnell (1861) and St Mary's Convent Chapel (1866) are two of the earliest surviving ecclesiastical buildings designed by Edward Mahoney and reflect the gradual evolution from simple Gothic Revival structures to more ambitious and creative use of the Gothic form such as may be seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Khyber Pass (1881); and St Patrick's Cathedral, the latter completed in 1901.

Edward Mahoney was a founding member of the Auckland Institute of Architects, attending the first meeting in December 1880 where he was appointed honorary treasurer. He became president of the Institute in 1883. His sons Thomas (1855?-1923) and Robert (1862-1895) joined him in practice in 1876 and the early 1880s respectively.

Upon Edward's retirement in 1885, Thomas and Robert carried on the practice. After Robert's death in 1895, Thomas changed the firm's name to E. Mahoney & Son. The Mahoneys designed a wide variety of buildings including the Auckland Customhouse, hotels, commercial buildings and houses, their best-known surviving domestic buildings being the Pah, at Hillsborough (1877) and the Dilworth Terrace Houses, Parnell (1899). Their ecclesiastical buildings included St Mary's Church of the Assumption, Onehunga (1888) and St Benedict's Church, Newton (1888).

The firm of Edward Mahoney & Son continued to practice for a short period after Thomas Mahoney’s death in 1923, but was eventually dissolved in 1926.

Source: NZHPT Registration Report for Bank of New Zealand (Former), Devonport (Register no. 4511).

Matthews, E. J.

Constructed the St Patrick's Presbytery, Auckland

Additional informationopen/close

Historical Narrative

Early development of the St Patrick's Cathedral complex

Constructed in 1888, the current presbytery is closely linked with the development of St Patrick's Cathedral and its associated complex of religious structures. Initially established in the 1840s, the complex soon became the spiritual heart of New Zealand's most populous Catholic Diocese. Until the creation of the Waikato Diocese in 1980, the Diocese embraced the northern half of the North Island, also uniquely incorporating an extensive Maori Mission. From its inception, the presbytery was integral to the workings of the Diocese, being involved in the administration of the Diocese, the Cathedral complex and the local parish, as well as housing the Cathedral clergy/parish priests.

The Crown granted part of the land occupied by the complex to Bishop Jean-Baptiste Pompallier (1801-1871) in June 1841. Pompallier was the pre-eminent Catholic clergyman in early colonial New Zealand, and sought to establish a religious base for his faith in the newly-established capital at Auckland. The land occupied part of a ridge in the western part of the settlement, on the opposite side of the town from the principal Anglican buildings on Constitution Hill and in Parnell. The parish of St Patrick's was founded in 1842, and a timber building housing St Patrick's chapel and school was opened on 29 January 1843.

A reference to a 'chapel house, Wyndham Street' in 1842 suggests that a presbytery had also been built by this time. It may have been erected by the Reverend Jean-Baptiste Petit-Jean, who described his house as being 'a small, unfinished, scarcely habitable building'. The presbytery is believed to have been situated immediately to the west of where construction of a stone church (and future Cathedral) was started by March 1846. Consecration in March 1848 of the Church of St Patrick and St Joseph - Auckland's first stone building - broadly coincided with Auckland becoming the Diocesan seat for the Bishop.

Further expansion of the complex subsequently occurred. In April 1850, the presbytery was converted into a convent to house Mother Cecilia Maher and seven Irish Sisters of Mercy who arrived to establish the first religious order of women in New Zealand. The priests and Bishop Pompallier relocated to another house, almost certainly on the site of the present presbytery. Although Pompallier formally purchased the two parcels of land comprising the modern presbytery site in 1852 and 1855, there may have been an arrangement for its ecclesiastical use prior to the legal settlement being recorded. Located on the corner of Hobson and Wyndham Streets, the second presbytery appears to have been a single-storey timber dwelling with a shingle roof. It may be the smart residence with two dormers, verandah and picket fence that occupies a corner site in an 1860s photo of Hobson Street.

Construction of the Present Presbytery

Following the appointment of Bishop John Luck (1840-1896) in 1882, a programme of rebuilding occurred. Substantial new structures were erected including a large Cathedral, which was blessed and opened in March 1885. Less than three years later, a decision was taken to improve the priests' quarters. This ultimately involved replacement of the timber presbytery with an impressive new structure of brick.

In 1879, the presbytery had been described as a single-storey dwelling with three smallish rooms, housing two or three priests who were responsible for three quarters of the Catholics living in the town. The death of Monsignor Henry Fynes in 1887 enabled construction of the new presbytery to be funded from the Fyne's Trust, Fynes having left his estate to the church. Fynes, an Englishman ordained in Sydney in 1845, had come to Auckland in October 1849 and during 1850-1851 held the position of 'Administrator' (parish priest for the cathedral). Fynes is remembered for the model schools he developed staffed by laypeople. During the absence of Bishops Croke and Steins, he was appointed the administrator of the Auckland Diocese for extended periods.

Tenders had initially been called for alterations to the existing presbytery, but even the lowest of the fifteen tenders received exceeded the budget. As ground levels along Hobson Street were being reduced around this time to improve access to the waterfront, it was decided to excavate the site and build a completely new presbytery. The land was excavated but not to street level, leaving the site with a 'gentle eminence' and the old presbytery buildings shifted to another part of the block. As a result of these earthworks it is uncertain how much archaeological material for the period leading up to 1888 may remain, although an old well is said to survive beneath one of the car parking spaces within the northeast corner of the current presbytery site.

The new presbytery was carried out to the design of architects Edward Mahoney & Sons, one of the most prolific and significant Auckland architectural firms of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was completed and handed over by the contractor Mr E. J. Matthews by

the second week of October 1888, the year that marked the completion of 50 years of the New Zealand mission of the Catholic Church. The New Zealand Herald noted that,

'The ground floor contains reception, dining and meeting rooms, kitchen and offices, and the upper floor, suites of studies and bedrooms, with bathroom. The upper part of the windows and the whole of the staircase windows are filled with cathedral glass and leadlights'.

The residence, costing £2,000, was declared to be 'comfortable and convenient, and a great improvement on the previous building'. When constructed, the building was a particularly grand and prominent example of a brick residence in the western part of the city centre, which

traditionally contained fewer houses belonging to the wealthier members of society. More modest brick buildings had, however, been erected in Hobson Street from before the mid 1860s, and small clusters of these are recorded as existing along this thoroughfare in the early 1880s.

Architecturally, St Patrick's Presbytery stands as a unique example of the strict Gothic Revival ecclesiastical work of Edward Mahoney & Sons. It is said to be one of the most rigorous examples of ecclesiastical domestic architecture of its type to be erected in Auckland, strictly fulfilling the notions of the influential British architect, Augustus Welby Pugin. Pugin's architectural work and writings advocated the use of medieval Gothic architectural forms, and were important influences on church design and associated ecclesiastical buildings throughout the mid to late nineteenth century.

There were several connections between Pugin and the Catholic authorities operating in Auckland. Pugin had founded the religious complex of St Augustine's at Ramsgate, Kent between 1845 and 1851, a project that is probably the closest representation in architectural terms of Pugin's own philosophy. After Pugin's death, St Augustine's became a Benedictine Monastery. It was from there that Benedictine brothers were sent to assist in the establishment of the Newton Parish in Auckland.

The new presbytery on Wyndham Street was also, for a time, the home of Bishop John Luck prior to completion of Bishop's Palace, Ponsonby in 1894. Luck, the 'Benedictine Bishop', had as a child moved to Ramsgate when his father, Alfred Luck, had bought the home of Augustus Pugin, close to the Church of St Augustine. Alfred Luck had later, at his own expense, built a monastery for the Benedictine community that established itself there in 1856, centred on the Church of St Augustine. On his death, he also left his house and substantial funds to the Benedictine Order. The friendship between Bishop John Luck, 'an energetic builder', with Pugin's son Peter Paul Pugin, led to the firm of Pugin and Pugin being selected as architects for the Bishop's Palace built in New Street, Ponsonby in 1894. It is likely that this connection also influenced the earlier design of St Patrick's Presbytery.

Subsequent Use and Development

From its inception, the presbytery was intended to provide accommodation for clergy serving the Cathedral and to be the centrepiece for the administration of the Auckland Diocese, Cathedral and local parish. For nearly a hundred years after its construction, Diocesan administration from

the presbytery extended as far south as the East Coast parishes around Gisborne and to some of the King Country west of Lake Taupo. It also encompassed an extensive Maori Mission. Clergy based at the presbytery directly served the Cathedral, having responsibilities for

conducting services celebrating special religious events, including ordinations and installation of the bishop. Diocesan priests came annually to renew their vows at the Cathedral. Also, traditionally the Cathedral and presbytery formed a gathering place for priests celebrating St Patrick's Day.

The presbytery further served an extensive inner-city parish, bounded from 1887 by the parishes of Parnell, Newton and Ponsonby. Priests based at the presbytery provided a variety of pastoral care conducting ceremonies linked with important life-cycle events among other matters. Members of the parish and others met with the clergy at the presbytery for preparation for baptism, holy communion, confession/reconciliation, confirmation and marriage. In view of the particular needs of an inner city parish, which encompassed particularly severe social problems during difficult periods such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, work at the presbytery is considered to have provided important training for many young priests.

As the administrative centre of the Diocese, many important meetings were held at the Presbytery. In March 1922, eighteen of Auckland's city and suburban priests met there and unanimously passed resolutions supporting Dr James Liston who faced prosecution in the Supreme Court by William Massey's government for allegedly making seditious utterances at a St Patrick's night address in the Auckland Town Hall. Liston was ultimately acquitted by an all-Protestant jury and went on to become Auckland's longest serving Bishop, eventually being honoured by the Church with the title 'Archbishop'. As the formal administrative centre of the Roman Catholic Bishop, the presbytery was the venue for receiving visits from many of

Auckland's Mayors, acknowledging the place of the Cathedral in the City, the Roman Catholic Bishop as a leading citizen of Auckland, and the contribution of the Cathedral clergy in dealing with the social and spiritual issues of those in the inner city.

Administrators of St Patrick's who were, or who became significant figures in the church include James Hackett (1889-1891) later Dean of the Auckland Diocese's southern district; priest and educationalist Monsignor Patrick O'Reilly (1899-1901); Matthew Brodie (1913-1915), who upon leaving St Patrick's Cathedral became Bishop of Christchurch and the Roman Catholic church's first New Zealand-born bishop; Monsignor Leonard Buxton (1925-1942), whose initiatives included the Roman Catholic publications The Month and Zealandia and who gave Knocknagree

camp at Oratia and the Catholic university-student centre Newman Hall to the Auckland diocese; Monsignor Adrian Curran (1942-1970) who was Vicar General of the diocese for nine years; and Monsignor Brian Arahill (1971-1988) who was the architect of a liturgical programme for the Auckland diocese implementing the ideas of Vatican II locally.

Historically the Administrator of St Patrick's Cathedral was also the manager of New Zealand's oldest-running school, which closed in December 1979. St Patrick's Cathedral School was founded on the Cathedral site in 1843 and later moved to the west side of Hobson Street and in 1927 to nearby Wellington Street. The strong links between the school and the Cathedral clergy were reflected in the pupils' participation in Cathedral liturgies and in the clergy's role as school chaplain, conducting the special services held at the school. Such services were an integral part of education provided in Roman Catholic schools prior to integration of Catholic schools into the state school system. Until the establishment of Te Unga Waka (Meeting of Canoes) in Epsom in the late 1960s much of the Church's Maori mission work centred round St Patrick's Cathedral and St Patrick's School.

An undated inventory, probably compiled some time following Bishop Luck's residence, gives an insight into the way the presbytery was used. It includes references to the Administrator's office and reception room (on the ground floor); the Assistant Priest's reception room (ground floor);

dining room; the Administrator's bedroom and study; Assistant Priest's rooms [bedroom]; visitors' bedroom; and servants' bedrooms. By 1900, the Very Reverend Dean Patrick O'Reilly was the Administrator in charge of St Patrick's Cathedral, assisted by a curate and assistant curate. The Cathedral parish at that time included the majority of the Catholics in the Diocese and the Cathedral was able to provide for 1,100 worshippers. A less detailed inventory completed in 1943 noted that there were: five bedrooms 'properly furnished'; one dining room; one sitting room; one 'smoke room'; two reception rooms; two rooms labelled 'domestics'; and a kitchen.

There appear to have been few alterations to the building for the first 50 years or so of its existence. In 1945 a bedroom addition resulted in the closing in of the Hobson Street end of the verandah. Almost 30 years later more extensive alterations were undertaken, resulting in: the further enclosure of the upper floor verandah; the lowering of ceilings; the provision of bathroom facilities for the housekeeper; and a narrow single-storey addition to the east end of the building. In 1995 alterations were made to enable better separation of the parish office activities from the priests' living area. This occurred after the administrative centre of the Diocese was moved to the Bishop's House in New Street, St Mary's Bay. The presbytery currently houses the priests of St Patrick's parish and the parish office, and provides a venue for meetings associated with the Cathedral restoration project.

Comparative Examples

Nationally, the building is unique as the only purpose-built Roman Catholic cathedral presbytery to survive. Of the other cathedral centres in New Zealand, Dunedin's cathedral presbytery was not purpose-built. Constructed in 1871 for merchant trader George Duncan, the bluestone building was purchased by the Otago Diocese in 1872. Sold by the Church in 1999, the former presbytery is now used for tourist accommodation. The cathedral presbytery in Christchurch occupied a site in Barbadoes Street beside the cathedral, but was demolished over a decade ago. Wellington's cathedral presbytery, a house purchased in the 1930s, was previously a doctor's residence. The earlier Wellington cathedral presbytery has not survived.

Presbyteries of non-cathedral status survive, including those in Auckland at St Benedict's, Newton (circa 1887), St John the Baptist, Parnell (circa 1903) and the Church of the Assumption, Onehunga (circa 1905). Examples nationally include Burnett Street, Ashburton (NZHPT Registration # 1808, Category II historic place); the St Mary's Church Presbytery (NZHPTRegistration # 1532, Category II historic place) recently relocated from Blenheim to Seddon; Pukekaraka Presbytery, Otaki (1897) (NZHPT Registration # 4100, Category II historic place); and the Presbytery at Reed Street, Oamaru (NZHPT Registration # 2297, Category II historic place).

Although there are other places constructed as brick residences in inner-city Auckland that are older and there may be some of later or unknown date that retain residential use, St Patrick's Presbytery is likely to be unusual as a surviving nineteenth-century brick residence within the colonial city centre and as a continually occupied nineteenth-century residence within the same area. Surviving examples of buildings constructed as residences in Auckland's CBD include the original (rear) section of the building at 5 Alten Road (NZHPT Registration # 7398, Category II historic place) built in 1849-1850 as the manse for the first minister of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. The building currently known as Newman Hall, 18 Waterloo Quadrant was originally a brick residence constructed for merchant David Nathan in 1863 and in the following decades was to become but one of many brick residences in the Princes Street/Lower Symonds Street area, several of which survive. These include Pembridge at 31 Princes Street; Wickford at 26 Princes Street, now part of the University of Auckland Registry; the houses at 12, 14 and 16 Symonds Street constructed in the mid-1880s; those at 25-29 Symonds Street (NZHPT Registration # 568, Category I historic place) probably built in 1897; and two houses at 201-203 Federal Street, constructed in circa 1907. Examples of more humble residential buildings include semi-detached cottages constructed of stone and brick at 30-32 Airedale Street (NZHPT Registration # 7089, Category I historic place).

Physical Description

The presbytery is a substantial, two-storey brick building in the Gothic Revival style with plaster dressings around door and window openings. It has office and living rooms downstairs, and living rooms, bedrooms and studies upstairs. The building occupies a slightly elevated site on the northeast corner of Wyndham and Hobson Streets, in the western part of Auckland's CBD. This location, and the building's minimal set back from both street frontages, reinforces its imposing appearance.

The presbytery forms part of a functional religious complex administering to the Catholic faith.

To the east of the presbytery, across the brick-paved St Patrick's Square, is the Cathedral

Church of St Patrick and St Joseph (NZHPT Registration # 97, Category I historic place). To the northeast, but still on church land, is a two-storey, brick office building that is connected to the presbytery by a carport. An old well is said to be located beneath one of the paved car-parking spaces near the northeast corner of the site. The presbytery is screened from St Patrick's Square by a substantial brick wall, which incorporates an iron cresting. The wall also runs along part of Wyndham Street, forming a courtyard around the building's easternmost wing (originally the service wing) and encloses a small outbuilding (storage, wood shed, laundry) at the southeast corner of the site.

Visually, the presbytery is comprised of three connected blocks. The central block runs parallel with Wyndham Street. The flanking wings are parallel with Hobson Street and both present a steep gable end to Wyndham Street. The building's formal entrance is located in the central block and is accessed by a broad set of steep steps from Wyndham Street. The heavy front door and surrounding leadlight windows incorporate Gothic-style motifs. A well defined, plaster stringcourse around the building's exterior visually delineates the two storeys, but drops for a distance on the Hobson Street facade to accommodate a tall leadlight window on the internal stair landing. Windows on the upper floor each have a pair of Tudor-style fanlights, while those on the ground floor have paired square fanlights. The windows - double-hung sashes - have square hood mouldings that terminate in label stops.

In plan view, the presbytery is approximately rectangular, although on its Wyndham Street

(south) side the central section is stepped back from the western section, and the eastern

section is stepped back further again. The east wing projects slightly on the building's north side.

A verandah, the upper section of which has been closed in, runs along the other two sections 'squaring off' the building's north side. A narrow single-storey addition with a hipped roof, created in 1973, is attached to the building's east side. The internal groundplan of the building contains an L-shaped hall on each floor. The main hall

on the ground floor runs between the back door on the north side of the building and the

staircase at the west end. A secondary passageway extends at right angles through the former service wing, terminating in the 1973 addition on the building's eastern side. The interior has recently been reorganised to better accommodate the residential and the parish office uses. Ceilings have been lowered, but the original ceilings remain above. The original service wing formerly containing the kitchen, scullery, storeroom and housekeeper's accommodation - now serves as the parish office; a dining area and lounge are in common use; while other rooms, including a living room and kitchen, are in residential use. The upper floor contains two living rooms, as well as bedrooms and ablution areas. The bedrooms of the north side of the hall each have a small study area in what was formerly the verandah.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1888 -

Modification
1903 -
Renovations - unspecified.

Modification
1909 -
Repairs to porch

Modification
1925 -
Floors of sitting room and dining room repaired.

Modification
1926 -
Back rooms renovated.

Modification
1945 -
Bedroom addition involving closing-in of Hobson Street end of verandah.

Modification
1962 -
Decramastic metal tile roof replacing slate; flashing and internal gutters replaced; parapets and chimneys replastered; brickwork above bay window repointed.

Modification
1973 -
Ceilings lowered; toilet area upgraded; bathroom facility provided for housekeeper (east wing); remaining verandah area closed in to provide studies; single storey office/lounge addition to east end of building.

Modification
1995 -
Layout of ground floor modified to separate parish office activities from living area.

Modification
2002 -
Removal of wall between dining area and lounge; folding doors installed; replica fireplace installed in lounge.

Construction Details

Brick, with metal tile roof.

Completion Date

18th October 2006

Report Written By

Martin Jones and Joan McKenzie

Information Sources

Best, 2003

Simon Best, 'St Patrick's Cathedral and Precinct, Wyndham Street, Auckland, Allotments 32-35 Section 18: Initial Archaeological Assessment, [Auckland], 2003

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Peter Shaw, 'Mahoney, Edward 1824/1825?-1895 & Mahoney, Thomas 1854/1855?-1923', updated 16 December 2003 URL: http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/; Carolyn Moynihan, 'O'Reilly, Patrick 1843-1914', updated 16 December 2003 URL: http://www.dnzb.govt.nz/

Simmons, 1982

E.R. Simmons, In Cruce Salus: A History of the Diocese of Auckland 1844-1980, Auckland, 1982

Simmons, 1985

E.R. Simmons, The Story of St Patrick's, Auckland, 1985

Conservation Plan

Conservation Plan

Salmond Reed Architects, 'Presbytery: St Patrick's Cathedral', Conservation Plan: Revised Draft, Auckland, 2002

Other Information

A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Northern Region 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.