3 Tonks Avenue [Relocated To 7 Tonks Grove], Wellington
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
28th June 1984
Pt Secs 97 99 Town of Wellington
What was one of a pair of identical, unmodified, 1880s cottages in Te Aro, Wellington, became part of a debate over the impact of a new motorway on a Wellington community. Identified as part of the community’s heritage, it was one of a number of buildings relocated out of the motorway’s path in 2005.
The cottage and its twin were originally located on Town Acre 99 on Tonks Avenue, a private right of way off Cuba Street that was named after the Tonks family. The Tonks were enterprising early settlers who arrived in New Zealand in 1842 and established a brickyard in the Te Aro suburb of Wellington around 1847. Town Acre 99 was purchased by William Tonks Senior in 1853 although it was not registered to him until 1862. The land was soon developed and the home of William Tonks Senior, his wife Jane and their children was built on the front section of town acres 97 and 99. In 1876, upon the William’s death, the land and buildings passed to his wife and, upon her death the following year, to their children. The couple’s sons, William Junior, Edward, and George each received pieces of acres 97 and 99 while their son Enoch was given property elsewhere in Wellington. In 1878, William Junior gave his shares as collateral for a loan with the Bank of Australasia. Soon after, William Junior defaulted on his payments and the property was sold to Frederick Krull to whom the land was transferred by 1880. In November 1881, Krull sold the land on to Andrew Wylie, who in 1885 sold the land to George Glover. It is in 1888 that a separate certificate of title was issued to Andrew Moran for the rear section of acre 99, where the cottage and its identical twin were later constructed.
Documentary evidence suggests the two cottages were built around 1889. The buildings are not included on plans of the area dating to the late 1870s, but are present on the 1891 plan of the city by Thomas Ward. Rates were paid on undeveloped land in 1888-89, but were collected for two structures in 1889-1890. It is therefore likely that the two buildings were commissioned by Andrew Moran after he purchased the property. It is not clear who lived in the cottages.
The site at 3 Tonks Avenue was a narrow allotment, most of which was taken up by the cottage. The cottage’s twin was located very close to it with its front door facing the front door of this cottage. The cottage itself is a small, single-storey building and has minimal details on the façade, except for classically styled front windows. It is of timber-frame construction with a rusticated weatherboard elevation, corrugated iron clad walls on the side and rear and a simple gabled roof. The interior of the cottage features three rooms, and originally included a lean to in the rear that may have been part of the same build or slightly later than the rest of the building. The cottage’s structure suggests that its builders were influenced by the Italianate and Victorian styles that gained popularity in the 1850s. Little change was made to the structure during much of its lifetime.
In 2005, Transit New Zealand began the construction of a new bypass through the city. In the process of planning this project, it became clear that the cottage was in the path of the bypass. Following a major public debate, an agreement was reached to relocate the cottage and other nearby buildings to new sites to the north of the bypass. It was relocated along with its twin to the new site. Archaeological investigation of the cottage provided insight into construction methods in the area in the late nineteenth century. Investigation of the structure prior to the relocation included extensive photography of exteriors and interiors, the taking of wood, nail and wallpaper samples, and recording of details of the interior. This was because the exterior was better preserved than that of 1 Tonks Avenue, while the interior was generally less well-preserved. Limited recording was undertaken after elements had been removed as preparation for the relocation process. On 15th August 2005 the cottage was relocated a short distance north and parallel to its original site. The exterior was subsequently restored by Transit New Zealand and in 2010, the cottage underwent interior renovations. The cottage is now used as bed and breakfast accommodation.
1888 - 1889
15 August 2005
8th October 2011
Report Written By
Kayla Wilson with NZHPT
Heritage New Zealand
Heritage New Zealand
Matt Philip, ‘There Goes the Neighbourhood’, in Heritage New Zealand, Autumn, 2011
I. Bowman, 3 Tonks Avenue, Wellington: Condition and Remedial Action Report’, 2001 (copy held Sir Alister McIntosh Memorial Library, NZHPT)
M. Jones, ‘1 Tonks Avenue’, in Wellington Inner City Bypass Composite Report (Draft), 2 October 2010 (copy held by NZHPT)
A fully referenced Upgrade Report is available from the Central Region office of 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.