38-42 Gloucester Street, Christchurch

  • House, Gloucester Street, Christchurch.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3712 Date Entered 6th September 1984


City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

TS 381 383 385 Chch City


Constructed in circa 1894 as a townhouse for widow Annie MacDonald of Orari Station, the building at 38-42 Gloucester Street in central Christchurch has social and historical significance for its association with the early settlers and pioneering South Canterbury run-holders and architectural and aesthetic significance as an example of the English Domestic Revival Style by noted architect R W England.

The block of land between Antigua Street (now Rolleston Avenue), Gloucester Street, Worcester Street and Montreal Street and was purchased in 1856 by Church Property Trustees, and in 1873 Reverend John Raven became the owner of this block. After Raven’s death in 1886 the sections were sold and further divided. Annie MacDonald (1839-1901) moved to Christchurch from Orari Station, near Geraldine, after her husband’s death in 1879 and in 1893 purchased the corner two sections and had a large single storeyed townhouse built soon after.

Surrounded by mature trees and a north- and east-fronting hedge atop a stone wall, the timber house has English Domestic Revival detailing, including half-timbering, verandahs, steeply pitched multi-gabled roof with overhangs and trussed bargeboards in the gable ends. The fenestration is varied, including bay and sash windows, casements, and modern skylights within the roof. The roof is corrugated steel. Chimneys are brick, the one standing above a gable on the east elevation is tall with a decorative pot.

Annie MacDonald lived at the house until her death in 1901, when both it and an adjoining cottage were separately put up for auction. The ‘nearly new’ residence was described in the auction notice as ‘containing 10 rooms and offices, with all modern conveniences, stabling, coachhouse, etc’. In 1901 sisters Margaret and Jane Hall purchased the property and it remained in the ownership of the Halls until January 1921. It was then purchased by school teacher Hans Kennedy who owned the neighbouring property at 311 Montreal Street and it subsequently operated as a boarding house through until circa 1961. It was then converted into flats, which is likely when the single storeyed building was divided into two storeys. In the mid 1990s, the building was under the threat of demolition but instead restored by the current owner and became the ‘Orari’ bed and breakfast in the late 1990s. Alterations and additions undertaken in the late 1990s included the removal of many of the modifications made when the building had been converted into flats. The 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes caused damage to the tall brick chimneys, and one has been rebuilt to full height.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

England, Robert William & Edward Herbert

Robert William England (1863-1908) was born at Lyttelton, the son of a timber merchant. Educated in Christchurch, he chose to go to England for his architectural training and began practicing as an architect in Christchurch around the age of twenty-three. In 1906 he took his younger brother Edward (1875 - c.1953) into practice with him.

Among the notable residential designs the England Brothers were responsible for are McLean's Mansion, (1899 - 1902), and the third stage of Riccarton House (1900). Robert was more concerned with the final effect achieved than stylistic fidelity and drew on a variety of styles including the English Arts and Crafts movement. Some of their more well-known public works include the former D.I.C building in Cashel Street (1908), the A.J White building on the corner of Tuam and High Streets (c.1904-1910) and the Kaiapoi Woollen Mills building in Manchester Street (now demolished). They were also involved in designing a number of churches around Christchurch, including Knox Church in Bealey Avenue and St Albans Methodist Church.

The firm continued after Robert's death in 1908 until 1941, although it is generally considered Edward was a more conservative architect than his brother and the firm's most notable commissions occurred before Robert's death.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1893 -

Conversion to two storeys (flats)

Restored and conversion to bed and breakfast

Completion Date

8th February 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.