383 Selwyn Street, Addington, Christchurch

  • Cottage June 1989. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Pam Wilson.
  • Original image submitted at time of registration. June 1985.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Pam Wilson.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3698 Date Entered 6th September 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt RS 72 (CT CB21B/1326), Canterbury Land District and the building known as Cottage thereon.

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Pt RS 72 (CT CB21B/1326), Canterbury Land District


Begun in the mid to late 1870s, the single storeyed timber cottage at 383 Selwyn Street was extended at an early date to create a twin gabled dwelling with lean-to at the rear. It has architectural, historical and social significance as an example of a colonial dwelling, in the historically working class suburb of Addington. The cottage at 383 Selwyn Street is one of a small number of cottages surviving in the area built in the 1870s and 1880s.

In the early days of colonial settlement, Addington had been purchased as a substantial block of land outside the central city boundaries, and subsequently subdivided. The establishment of the railway line between this area and the city centre in 1865 encouraged subsequent settlement in Addington by labourers and tradesmen. Edward Stevens purchased Rural Section 72 from Henry Sewell and in 1875 sold part of the section to James McCullough, an Addington labourer, and it is possible that the cottage was built soon after this time. McCullough subdivided his property in 1887, selling part to William Livingston Smith, Sydenham iron founder. It is commonly thought that Smith had the cottage built but it appears that it already existed and in fact been extended after Smith’s purchase. Indeed, the Electoral Roll for the City of Christchurch lists William Livingstone Smith, moulder, as already residing in this area of Selwyn Street by 1880-1881 which suggests that he rented from McCullough prior to purchasing the property.

Fronting the west side of Selwyn Street, the cottage at 383 Selwyn Street is a single storeyed rusticated timber building, with a slightly concave verandah extending the length of the façade. It has a central door flanked by sash windows, a gable roof running north to south and a lean-to at the west rear. The north and south elevations present as double gable bays, with a further lower pitched roof extension at the rear. The roof covering is corrugated steel.

Despite transferring ownership to John Robert Smith, plumber, in 1894, William Livingston Smith is believed to have remained at the property until his death in 1911, after which he was buried in the nearby Addington Cemetery. In 1919 John MacMorran (MacMoran), a saddler, purchased the property. Margaret Sinclair owned the cottage between 1921 and 1929, and it was then sold to caretaker Alfred Wise in 1929. After Alfred’s death in 1965, the property passed to his wife Elsie who remained there until 1980, having lived in the cottage for nearly 60 years. The current owner, Julie Derrick, has owned the building since 1980.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Completion Date

25th January 2017

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

Other Information

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.