5 Shelley Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

  • Cottage, 5 Shelley Street.
    Copyright: Louise Deans. Taken By: Louise Deans. Date: 20/04/2010.
  • Cottage. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: C Cochran. Date: 8/06/1984.
  • Cottage. April 1991.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: A E McEwan.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3701 Date Entered 6th September 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 19 DP 163 (CT CB25K/1280), Canterbury Land District and the building known as Cottage thereon.

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 19 DP 163 (CT CB25K/1280), Canterbury Land District


Constructed in circa 1880, the cottage at 5 Shelley Street, Christchurch, has historical and social significance as a small brick residential property associated with the early development of Shelley Street. Occupied by three Christchurch-based artists over a 20 year period from 1975, the cottage additionally has associated cultural value.

When a larger land parcel in Sydenham was divided into small residential allotments, Charles Harding, a Christchurch bricklayer, purchased the section in August 1877. Shelley Street was so-named in 1880 after English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) as part of a programme of naming streets in this area after literary figures. It is likely that Harding built the dwelling, and may have lived in it, though this has not been confirmed.

Standing at the front of the rectangular section, the single storeyed brick cottage at 5 Shelley Street has a symmetrical façade, with a central entrance door flanked by sash windows, a gabled roof of corrugated iron/steel and a rear extension. Its construction in brick is notable in comparison to the more common timber cottages in the area with a similar construction date.

Harding sold the property to farm labourer Thomas Ferguson in 1901. In 1928 Ferguson sold to Annie Meadows who owned it until 1951, renting it out during that period. Frederick Harrison then owned and lived in the property until 1973, after which Robert Clemence owned it for a short period until 1975 when it was sold to Michael and Merilyn Reed. This began a period of almost 20 years where the cottage was owned and occupied by artists. Printmaker and art teacher, Michael Reed had the property between 1975 and 1984 and it was in his time, in the 1980s, that a conservatory-style hip –roofed artist’s studio was added to the rear of the cottage. Subsequent owner occupants include artists Julia Morrison (painter, photographer, sculptor, installation artist) between 1984 and 1991 and glass artist Rena Jarosewitsch, who owned it from 1991 and added stained glass to parts of the interior. The current owner purchased the property in 1995. Damage was caused to the cottage during the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010-2011 and it is currently propped, awaiting repair.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Conservatory addition

Original Construction
1880 -

Completion Date

27th October 2016

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.