17 Nathan Terrace, Shannon

  • House, 17 Nathan Tce, Shannon. CC Licence 4.0 Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Michal Klajban - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Michal Klajban. Date: 16/11/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4054 Date Entered 5th September 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 325 DP 368 (WN140/185), Wellington Land District, and the building known as House thereon.

City/District Council

Horowhenua District


Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Lot 325 DP 368 (WN140/185), Wellington Land District


The house at 17 Nathan Terrace is thought to be built circa 1900 and was Shannon’s first police station, when the Police Department rented the property from 1902 through to 1909. The house is of historical and social significance for it created a centre of policing in Shannon, which had previously been patrolled from Foxton.

The land on which Shannon sits was part of an endowment of 215,000 acres acquired by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company (WMR) around 1881. Shannon township, named after a director of the WMR, G. V. Shannon, was founded on 8 March 1887 when the Company auctioned off land surrounding the new railroad. The property described as Lot 325 was bought in 1889 by Alfred Whiley, a settler of Longburn. The section changed hands twice more before its purchase in late 1900 by Johan Petterson, a settler of Shannon who took a mortgage out with the Bank of New South Wales in 1900, likely marking the building of the house.

The house is a representative modest cottage of the Victorian era (1860-1910), built from timber with a hipped corrugated iron roof and wooden sash windows. The front of the house featured a veranda with a low fence and decorative brackets on the posts. The interior of the house was very basic giving the first policeman few comforts.

Letters dating to 7 and 14 October 1902 between the Commissioner of Crown Lands and the Department of Lands and Survey discuss potential sites for the construction of a police station in Shannon. The Police Department ended up renting the property at 17 Nathan Terrace instead. Land title records show that Lot 325 was sold in 1902, although the Police continued to rent the house until 1909 when a new custom built Police Station/house was completed on the corner of Ballance and Vogel Streets. Shannon’s first constable was Constable James Bree who arrived in Shannon on 18 December 1902 and occupied the Nathan Terrace house until 1908, when Constable John Robert Esson took over through to the end of the police station’s tenancy.

The house has had modifications over the years. An interview in 1995 with the owner, who bought the property in 1988, reveals that the house was very much in its original state then and has since had extensive work to make the house liveable. At some point it has been re-roofed as well as new windows and wooden window frames installed; the timber cladding also appears to be relatively new. The house originally had three bedrooms, however a wall has been removed between two of the bedrooms to create a larger space. The removal of a hedge from the street frontage in 1995 revealed an old decorative wired fence, which has since been replaced with a low timber fence.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1900 -

1969 -
Construction of rear porch and bathroom

1989 -
Installation of a wood burner

Wall removed between two bedrooms

Completion Date

21st September 2016

Report Written By

Nicola Bowden

Information Sources

Carter, 1988

R. Carter, Beyond the Call of Duty; A History of the Palmerston North Police District, Palmerston North, 1988

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 Central Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.