6 Shelley Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

    Copyright: Kete Christchurch. Taken By: Kete Christchurch. Date: 27/01/2010.
  • Original image submitted at time of registration. May 1991.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Ann McEwan.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3702 Date Entered 6th September 1984


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 15 DP 163 (CT CB20K/1002), Canterbury Land District and the building known as Cottage thereon.

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 15 DP 163 (CT CB20K/1002), Canterbury Land District


Constructed in circa 1878, the worker’s cottage at 6 Shelley Street, Christchurch, has historical and social significance as a small timber residential property associated with the early development of Shelley Street.

When a larger land parcel (Rural Section 238) in Sydenham was divided into small residential allotments, Robert Hamilton Russell Beare, a local labourer, purchased the section in 1877. Beare raised a mortgage on the property on 7 January 1878, indicating a likely year that the house was built.

Standing at the front of the rectangular section, the single storeyed weatherboard cottage at 5 Shelley Street has a symmetrical façade, with a central entrance door flanked by sash windows, a gabled roof of corrugated steel and lean-to at the rear. The form and detailing of the dwelling are simple, with little ornamentation other than the small hood above the central entry. Additions and alterations to the dwelling were made in 1973, 1980 and 1982.

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. Many worker’s cottages were built here and on surrounding streets. In 1883 Robert Beare sold his house to Peter Grenfell, also a labourer, for £170. After Peter Grenfell’s death in 1893, ownership passed to his widow, Maria. Maria died in 1903 and the house then came into the ownership of Mary Anna Clark. The cottage had a number of owners throughout the twentieth century, and was rented out for much of this time. For a brief period in the early 1980s, it was owned by printmaker and art teacher Michael Reed and his wife Merilyn. The Reeds already owned and lived in the brick cottage opposite at 5 Shelley Street between 1975 and 1984.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1878 -

Unspecified additions/alterations

Additional building added to site
1990 -
Garage built

Completion Date

4th November 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.