Hudson's House (Former)

32 Tweed Street, Roslyn, Dunedin

  • Hudson’s House (Former).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Amanda Mulligan. Date: 31/10/2014.
  • Hudson’s House (Former). Glass dome featuring great composers.
    Copyright: Jonathan Howard. Taken By: Jonathan Howard. Date: 13/02/2012.
  • Hudson's House (Former). Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Google Maps 2012.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 373 Date Entered 24th November 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt Lot 11 DP 308 (CT OT4B/571), Otago Land District and the building known as Hudson's House (Former) thereon, and its fixtures and fittings.

City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 11 DP 308 (CT OT4B/571), Otago Land District


Hudson’s House (Former), 32 Tweed Street, Roslyn, has been described as a treasure house of domestic stained glass.

The house was built on land owned by the Kettle family. Charles Henry Kettle (1821-1862), a pioneer surveyor of Otago purchased land in the Upper Kaikorai District from Johnny Jones in 1851 and from Robert and James Fulton in 1853. Known as the Littlebourne Estate, the family built a home on site. In 1862 Kettle died but the land remained in family hands.

Tradition holds that the original double bay villa at 32 Tweed Street was built in the 1860s. If so, the house may have been the original Kettle residence. Location and photographic evidence, however, do not support this. The earliest available photograph of the Tweed Street house dates to 1879.

In 1881 the first certificate of title was issued to John Mcfarlane Ritchie, manager of the National Mortgage and Agency Company of New Zealand (NMA) and shipping agent. The house passed through various hands until August 1922 when it was bought by William Reginald Hudson (1886-1952), youngest son of Richard Hudson and the founder of what was to become Cadbury Schweppes Hudson Ltd.

In 1924 Hudson hired architect Eric Miller to carry out additions and alterations. Miller added features rarely seen in homes of this vintage and similar to those incorporated in modern homes. For example the drawing room at the rear of the house, in itself a break with tradition, was designed with a sweeping bay of windows facing the sun and views. Also ahead of its time, although this could be attributed to the sloping section, was the design of living areas and bedroom on one level and games room and laundry on the level below.

The house was extended considerably, including a glassed-in veranda on to which the main bedrooms and drawing room opened. Alterations were also made to enhance the grandeur of the house. Most striking of these was a large stained glass dome, featuring cameos of eight great composers. It was likely the work of John Brock well-known in Dunedin ‘for the bolder form of windows’. Stained glass was featured throughout the house including in double doors leading to the drawing room and in fanlights above nearly every window. Even the bathroom windows were stained glass. A stained glass wall of heraldry in the billiard room, as well as the great dome, was able to be lit electrically so as to mimic sunshine when there was none. Other significant features included ornate plaster work and carved oak panels, which lined the entrance hall and dining room. The interior also included five bedrooms.

The exterior remained wooden weather boards, not unlike other older Dunedin homes. To enhance the grandeur an elegant portico was built across the narrow frontage linking it with the street.

In the intervening years the kitchen, scullery and pantry of Hudson’s era were converted into a small sitting room, bathroom and large kitchen-dining room. Yet a number of furnishings and floor coverings made for the 1924 additions remain. Also original, is the dining furniture including the sideboard and large table which are intricately carved and match the carvings on the oak wall panelling.

Although the exterior of Hudson’s House (Former) is perhaps architecturally and aesthetically unremarkable, its association with noted architect Eric Miller and its outstanding stained glass decorations serve to enhance the house’s significance. Hudson’s House (Former) is associated with one of Dunedin's leading families and as such it serves as a visible reminder of the leading position once enjoyed by Dunedin as the commercial capital of New Zealand.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Miller, Eric S C

Eric Miller was educated at Otago Boys High School and served an apprenticeship with Salmond and Vane. After serving in the engineers in France in World War I, he trained in London on a scholarship, along with James White whom he had known as a child when living in Dunedin. After London he went to stay with an aunt in San Francisco where he helped with rebuilding that city after its great earthquake. Returning to Dunedin about 1925-25, he was associated with the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition at Logan Park where he worked with Edmund Anscombe, a distant relative. He and Jim White formed a partnership in 1927 and took over Anscombe's office when the latter moved to Wellington. Miller and then White followed Anscombe as the University architect. They designed the Willi Fels wing of the Otago Museum (1929), the Otakou Maori church and hall (1941) and the Hercus block of the Medical School (1948), all of which tend to be associated with Miller's name, rather than White's. Miller also won a competition for the Oamaru war memorial (1926). Miller was a skilled mountaineer and one of the foundation members of the Otago Alpine Club. In 1939 he published his diary of life in the trenches in 1917, illustrated with numerous pen and ink sketches made during active service. He was a Fellow of both the New Zeeland and Royal British Institute of Architects.

Brock, John

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1870 -

1924 -
Alterations and additions to original villa carried out

Completion Date

23rd April 2012

Report Written By

Susan Irvine

Information Sources

Galer, 1981 (2)

L. Galer, More Houses and Homes, Allied Press, Dunedin, 1981 Dunedin City Council Archives

Other Information

A fully referenced Upgrade Report is available from the Otago/Southland Area 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.