Dalgety, Rattray and Co's. Store (Former)
10 Tyne Street, Oamaru
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
2nd July 1982
Extent of List Entry
The extent includes the land described as Sec 9 Blk III Town of Oamaru and part of the land described as Pt Sec 14 Blk III Town of Oamaru (CT OT244/172), Otago Land District, and the building known as Dalgety, Rattray and Co's. Store (Former) thereon.
Sec 9 and Pt Sec 14 Blk III, Town of Oamaru (CT OT244/172), Otago Land District
This large store built for merchants Dalgety, Rattray and Co. and designed by prominent Dunedin architect David Ross in 1864, is one of the oldest surviving commercial buildings in Oamaru.
Tyne Street was one of the first commercial areas to be developed in Oamaru. It was home to many stores because of its proximity to the port. Dalgety & Co. established a branch in Oamaru in 1864 on this site, but do not appear to have owned the land. Dalgety & Co. was established by Frederick Gonnerman Dalgety. Canadian-born Dalgety emigrated to Australia, later becoming a partner in a merchant firm. Dalgety extended his business to New Zealand in 1858, setting up Dalgety Buckley and Co. in Lyttleton. In 1863 Dalgety and Co. set up a Dunedin branch where James Rattray with William Tolmie, on behalf of F.G. Dalgety, established Dalgety, Rattray & Co., merchants and agents. The first premises were two large wooden stores and a manager’s cottage.
Prominent Dunedin architect David Ross designed the company’s new stores. Ross advertised for tenders for the ‘Erection of Large Stone and Iron Stores at Oamaru’ in July 1864. In October 1864 the Oamaru Mail and Waitaki Reporter described the opening of the ‘fine business premises.’ ‘The store is 100 feet in length by 50 broad [30 by 15m], the first section, in which the counting-house is situated, being of stone, while the remainder of the walls as well as the roof are of galvanised iron. The interior throughout is lined with Baltic pine. In such a large space there is ample room for compartments for different descriptions of goods and for their thorough arrangement. The ground on which the building stands fronts Tyne Street and also Tees Street, and it is intended to surround the whole with a substantial fence of galvanised iron 8 feet high [2.4m]. These premises, while certainly the largest here, are as handsome, commodious, and business like, as any we have seen.’ The store cost around £1,500 to build.
Dalgety, Rattray and Co. went into liquidation in early 1865, and closed their Oamaru business in 1868, selling it to George Harper, who went into partnership with William Black. Harper and Black went bankrupt in 1870. In 1870 auctioneers Fleming and Hedley took over the business, which included Robert Campbell’s station agency that remained with the store. Neil Fleming (1840-1900) and Allan Hedley went into partnership in 1868. Born in Scotland and a teacher by profession, Fleming came to Dunedin in 1864 before moving to Oamaru in 1866. Allan Hedley (d.1918) came to New Zealand in 1864. He managed Awamoa Estate for runholder Mathew Holmes before entering into partnership with Neil Fleming. Hedley was mayor of Oamaru from 1901-1903. After Neil Fleming’s death in 1900 Hedley sold the building to the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company Ltd.
In 1929 the building was converted into the Scottish Hall, home for the North Otago Scottish Society Incorporated. The hall was opened on 21 November 1929. In 1940 the building was enlarged. In the 1950s the façade was plastered over. It was chipped back to the original limestone in 1997.
In 2013 Dalgety, Rattary and Co’s. Store (Former) remains home to the North Otago Scottish Society. Its history provides an important link with the first mercantile traders in Oamaru, and is a significant element in Oamaru’s Harbour/Tyne Historic Area (Register No. 7064).
David Ross (1827-1908) was one of a significant number of architects who came to New Zealand from Australia in the early 1860s prompted by the news of the Otago gold rushes. Born in Scotland, Ross worked in Victoria in the late 1850s before settling in Dunedin in c.1862, whereupon he entered into a brief partnership with William Mason (1810-97). After establishing his own practice, Ross designed the Congregational Church (1863-64), Dunedin's oldest ecclesiastical building, Fernhill house (1867) which is now home to the Dunedin Club, and the central wing of the Otago Museum (1876-77).
In the mid-1860s Ross worked briefly in Hokitika (1866) before returning to Dunedin and in 1870 he applied for a patent for the frames and apparatus required for the construction of works in concrete. This application lapsed but it is nevertheless significant as it places Ross at the forefront of the development of mass concrete construction in this country. In addition to his professional responsibilities David Ross was also a member of the first Dunedin City Council (1865-66) and in 1876 he became the first president of the joint Institute of Engineers and Architects in Otago. Ross may have returned to Australia in the early 1890s and it would appear that he spent the rest of his life living in the United States and Japan.
1940 - 1949
1950 - 1959
Plastering on the facade removed
1st May 2013
Report Written By
North Otago Museum
North Otago Museum
North Otago Times
North Otago Times
15 Sep 1864, p.4.; 19 Jan 1865, p.3.; 26 May 1871, p.2.; 16 Jan 1875, p.3.
Oamaru Borough Council
Historic Building Catalogue
Otago Daily Times
Otago Daily Times
14 Jul 1864, p.2.; 9 Aug 1870, p.2.; 11 Aug 1875, p.3.; 23 Jan 1997
A fully referenced Upgrade Report is available from the Otago/Southland Area office of NZHPT.
This registration is also included in the Harbour/Tyne Street Historic Area (Record no. 7064).
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.