Mona Vale

63 Fendalton Road, Fendalton, Christchurch

  • Mona Vale. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Bernard Spragg – volvob12b. Taken By: Bernard Spragg – volvob12b. Date: 24/10/2008.
  • Mona Vale. Building detail.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.
  • Mona Vale. Building detail.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Registered List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1
List Number 283 Date Entered 7th April 1983

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Christchurch City

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 9 DP 7787 (CT CB13K/1092), Canterbury Land District.

Summaryopen/close

This house, originally called Karewa and now called Mona Vale, was built for Frederick Waymouth in 1899-1900. Waymouth was the Managing Director of Canterbury Frozen Meats, one of the earliest companies established in New Zealand to take advantage of the new frozen meat trade with Britain. The house was designed by J.C. Maddison, a Christchurch-based architect who was also known for his designs of freezing works, hotels and the former Government Building in Cathedral Square. Maddison had been involved in the design of the Canterbury Frozen Meats works at Belfast and it had been said that it was due to his skill in design of this complex that the company owed much of its success. It is likely that this connection led to Waymouth asking Maddison to design his house.

The house Maddison designed is two-storeyed and constructed in brick. The upper storey is stuccoed and half timbered on the upper storey, a reference to the houses of Tudor England. With its English vernacular motifs and tiled roof, the building is characteristic of a number of houses in Christchurch designed for well-off professionals and businessmen around the turn of the century. Such houses were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, as experienced in New Zealand. The Arts and Crafts movement in architecture grew out of an interest in traditional construction and the moral worth of honest toil.

In 1905 Waymouth sold his house to Annie Townend (?-1914) and it was she who renamed the place Mona Vale, after her mother's house in Tasmania. Annie Townend was the daughter of one of the wealthiest runholders in Canterbury, George Moore of Glenmark. After her father's death in 1905, Townend continued to run Glenmark. She built the gatehouse at Mona Vale, which is also registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Pouhere Taonga. Townend also installed a fernery at Mona Vale; she acquired the building and its ferns from the International Exhibition held at Hagley Park in 1906-1907.

The four hectares of gardens around Mona Vale greatly contribute to the charm of the property. The house is orientated to the river and surrounded by lawns and other 'horticultural delights'. In 1939, when Mona Vale was owned by Tracy Gough, Alfred Buxton, the noted Canterbury landscape architect, was employed to lay out the gardens.

In 1962 the property was sold to the Church of the Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons. A few years later the Church wished to subdivide the property and demolish the house. The public outcry that this caused led to the purchase of the property by the Christchurch City Council, helped by a local fund-raising campaign. Since then it has primarily been used as a restaurant and function centre.

Mona Vale is significant as an example of Maddison's domestic architecture, and as a representative of the 'Old English' style house, which became a notable part of Christchurch's architectural heritage. It reflects the lifestyle of the wealthier residents of Christchurch at the turn of the century and it has immense public significance as a valued 'oasis in the heart' of Christchurch.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

Maddison, Joseph Clarkson

Joseph Maddison (1850-1923) was born in Greenwich and came to Lyttelton in 1872. He settled in Christchurch and commenced practice as an architect.

He designed a large number of public buildings, mainly in Canterbury, including The Church of the Holy Innocents, Amberley, the Anglican Church at Port Levy, Warner's Hotel (1881) and Clarendon Hotel (1902), both in Christchurch, Government Buildings, Christchurch (1913) and numerous private residences.

Maddison was well known as an industrial architect and was responsible for the warehouses of the Kaiapoi Woollen Company. His specialty, however, was in the design of freezing works. Among his designs were the Canterbury Freezing Works, Belfast (1883) and the Mataura Freezing Works, Canterbury and he is considered to have been one of the chief exponents in this field during the late nineteeenth century.

He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1887.

Additional informationopen/close

Completion Date

13th December 2001

Report Written By

Melanie Lovell-Smith

Christchurch Star

Christchurch Star

Tuesday 7 October 1969, p.4.

Doig, 2001

Suzanne Doig, 'Riccarton/Wigram Heritage Site Register', compiled Christchurch, 2001

New Zealand Historic Places

New Zealand Historic Places

pp.17-18.

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Shaw, 1997 (2003)

Peter Shaw, A History of New Zealand Architecture, Auckland, 1997

p.84