Trentham Military Camp Clocktower Building (Library)

Anzac Drive, Trentham

  • Trentham Military Camp Clocktower Building (Library).
    Copyright: New Zealand Defence Force. Taken By: New Zealand Defence Force.
  • .
    Copyright: New Zealand Defence Force. Taken By: New Zealand Defence Force.
  • 'Looking down on Trentham Military Camp, Upper Hutt'. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Ref no.1/2-047866.
    Copyright: Alexander Turnbull Library. Taken By: Sydney Charles Smith (1888-1972).

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4150 Date Entered 5th September 1985


City/District Council

Upper Hutt City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 936 Hutt District (Rifle Range Reserve Trentham Military Camp NZ Gazette 1903, p.2378), Wellington Land District


The clocktower building was one of the first structures to be built for the Trentham Military Camp.

Before the First World War Trentham was primarily used for summer camps and training in association with the Trentham Rifle Range (established 1892). On the outbreak of the First World War Trentham became a mobilisation camp, with most of the accommodation areas under canvas. In 1915 work began on the construction of permanent buildings under the direction of the Public Works Department. The history of the clocktower building is confusing. Camp records suggest that the building was erected in 1916 for an Anglican church. It is more likely, given the presence of tiered seating, that the building was erected as a cinema to entertain the members of the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force who received their training at the camp before being shipped overseas. After the war activities at the camp were scaled down and during the 1920s the cinema was converted into a sailmaker's hut. In 1943 it was converted into a lecture hut and in 1948 the south end of the building was converted into sleeping quarters. The building now serves as the library and convention centre of the military camp.

The main building is a rectangular timber structure with a broad gable roof. It has lean-tos on the east and west elevations. The most striking feature of the building is a three storey square tower, on top of which is placed a clock in a small cubic turret. The clocktower is considered to be in original condition, though the clock is now run by an electronic mechanism. There are double-hung sash windows on all elevations. The building is clad with weatherboard and has a corrugated iron roof.

The Trentham Military Camp Clocktower is significant as one of the original camp buildings. Although modified internally, its exterior has changed very little, and the building has remained an important camp landmark.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1916 -

Converted to a sailmaker's workshop and store

Completion Date

24th August 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources

New Zealand Defence Force

New Zealand Defence Force

Trentham Military Camp - Clocktower Building, Heritage Inventory (Draft), 2001

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.