11 Anglesea Street, Arrowtown
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
24th November 1983
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Lot 2 DP 11488 (CT OT3C/174), Otago Land District and the building known as Cottage thereon.
Lot 2 DP 11488 (CT OT3C/174), Otago Land District
Take away the contemporary cars and the modern tar seal and Anglesea Street returns seamlessly to the nineteenth century. Halfway along the street stands a little weatherboard cottage, largely hidden behind a hedge. This is the historic home of the Baker family. This weatherboard 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 one of several small nineteenth century cottages on Anglesea Street, in the residential area south of Buckingham Street, Arrowtown’s historic main thoroughfare. Other examples include neighbouring No’s 9, 10, 11 and 12 Anglesea Street, all Category 2 historic places. . It represents the early mining and settlement days of Arrowtown - humble and utilitarian, a ‘huddle in the middle of nowhere’. Now part of a booming tourist precinct, the Bakers’ humble cottage forms part of historic Arrowtown’s charm.
The first known reference to the cottage was in 1878 when John Baker (1840?-1905?) paid the Council rates for a house and shed. In 1885 the first Certificate of Title was issued for the property, being Lots 5 and 6, Block V, Town of Arrowtown. The title was issued to ‘Harriet Baker, wife of John Baker of Arrowtown, settler’. In 1890, when the rates were again paid, the property was described as a weatherboard house with stable. The house stood on Lot 5.
Like most of their neighbours, the Bakers got on with the life of trying to make ends meet and raising a large family, including at least four sons. It seems Baker undertook a number of different options to provide for his family. For example he held an agricultural lease of Sections 9 and 10, Block X, in the Shotover District (98 acres). Unfortunately, in 1891 this land was found to be ‘payable auriferous’. In October, miners and ratepayers of Arrowtown assembled at a public meeting asking the Lake County Council to cancel John William Baker’s lease. The Mines Department eventually paid Baker £100 as compensation for the leasehold land taken from him.
Baker also tried his hand at goldmining. He probably took up ‘Cornish’s reef’ at the Crown Terrace in 1896. He also became a carter, or packer as they were known; ferrying goods over makeshift roads to far-flung miners. In 1891 Barker was lauded for carrying over the ‘Macetown dray road [which] is often described as makeshift…two tons of machinery for the Sunrise battery on a wagon with six horses…’ Carters, or packers, were a ‘tough breed, enduring weather cold enough to freeze their beards’. The history of packers is not well documented, yet it was one of the most important occupations in gold rush society. Packers supplied the goldminers, often charging high prices for food and other commodities.
John probably died in 1905, aged 65. Harriet remained in the house until at least 1938, when she transferred the home to her son George Arnold Baker (1876-1949), farmer of Arrowtown. Harriet died in August 1940 aged 87.
George sold Section 5 in 1948 to Robert Wilkie and Lot 6, including the house, to William Sligo in 1949. Sligo, a Dunedin share broker, died in 1968. His estate sold the house to George and Barbara Couper. In 1996 the Coupers sold to Janet Young and Susan Ryan and in 2002 the house sold to the current owners.
Cottage built by this date
Additional building added to site
1890 - 1899
Stables added by the 1890s
18th September 2013
Report Written By
29 October 1891, p. 14, 15 September 1892, p. 20, 1 October 1896, p. 19, 22 January 1891, p. 17, 16 December 1908, p. 39.
A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from Otago/Southland Area 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.