Coppelle Cottage

705 High St, Lower Hutt

  • Coppelle Cottage.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Helen McCracken. Date: 14/10/2001.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4142 Date Entered 5th September 1985


City/District Council

Hutt City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 6 DP 8039


Notable New Zealand architect James Walter Chapman-Taylor (1878-1958) designed and built this English Arts and Crafts style cottage in 1938. The Arts and Crafts movement advocated a return to the handmade crafts of England before the industrial revolution. Chapman-Taylor had acquainted himself with buildings erected according to Arts and Crafts principles on a trip to England in 1909. There he met Charles Voysey, Baillie Scott, Richard Parker and Sir Raymond Unwin, prominent figures in the movement. On returning to New Zealand, Chapman-Taylor adapted the Arts and Crafts style to local conditions. Over the 50 years of his career he retained the principles of the movement, not only designing and building houses, but also making the furniture and fittings to go in them.

The design of Coppelle Cottage resembles Chapman-Taylor's own but larger residence in Chatsworth Road, Silverstream. It is a timber framed building. All the exterior walls are finished with trowel stroked rough plaster applied over wire mesh. The interior features dark-stained timbering and hand-adzed ceiling beams. The cottage has had a number of alterations mainly to the kitchen, laundry and upstairs rooms.

This house is significant as it was built by notable New Zealand architect James Chapman-Taylor, New Zealand's finest Arts and Crafts architect and greatest architect/builder.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Chapman-Taylor, James Walter

Chapman-Taylor (1878-1958) was born in London and his family came to New Zealand in 1880. He was apprenticed to a builder in Stratford, and there he studied architecture by correspondence.

In 1909 Chapman-Taylor went on a voyage to England where he acquainted himself with the English vernacular and the Arts and Crafts movement. This trip had a profound effect on Chapman-Taylor's future work as he followed the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, a movement with origins in the English Gothic Revival. Chapman-Taylor adhered to the Arts and Crafts principles of permanence, honesty, simplicity and beauty as espoused by architects C.F.A. Voysey (1857-1941), Baillie Scott, Parker and Unwin whom he met on this trip to England. He adapted the English movement to local conditions. His is an honest architecture which remained popular despite changing fashions. Chapman-Taylor adhered to Arts and Crafts principles over the 50 years of his career and showed a keen awareness of local forms and materials. He designed the furniture and fittings for many of his houses, including details such as wrought iron door and window fittings.

As an architect and a craftsman, Chapman-Taylor designed and then built his houses himself - approximately 80 of them dated between 1904 and 1953. While most of these houses are situated in Wellington and Heretaunga, there are others throughout the North Island and one in the South Island.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1938 -

Completion Date

16th August 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Judy Siers, James Walter Chapman-Taylor', Vol. 3, p.92

Niven, 1975

Stuart Niven, 'J. W. Chapman-Taylor; Architect and Craftsman', Bachelor of Architecture, University of Auckland, 1975

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.