Cranswick House

14 Cranswick Crescent, Matamata

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4223 Date Entered 5th September 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 2 DPS 15842 (CT SA42D/226), South Auckland Land District and the building known as Cranswick House thereon

City/District Council

Matamata-Piako District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DPS 15842 (CT SA42D/226), South Auckland Land District


Cranswick House at 14 Cranswick Crescent, Matamata was built in 1916 for local farmers John Cranswick (1867-1951) and Mary Louisa Cranswick (1879-1963). The house is a replica of the Cranswick’s previous residence ‘Cleavedale’ in Hinuera, which was constructed in 1911. Cranswick House is one of Matamata’s stately homes and is a representative example of a two-bay Edwardian villa featuring exceptional fret work design. It also has strong ties to Matamata’s social history as the Cranswicks were actively involved in the developing Matamata community, especially the Anglican Church.

John Cranswick arrived in Matamata in 1895 and in 1904 drew Section 104 in the Matamata subdivision ballot. His plot was situated on the Hinuera West Road and stretched to the Waitoa River. Cranswick had a two bay villa with a return verandah built as a homestead on the farm. When Cranswick retired from farming, the family moved into the town of Matamata. In 1916 they built a replica of their previous home, upon eight acres of land. The house was constructed by Thames architect and builder Albert William Gordon (1888-1917), who also built Cleavedale. The Cranswick’s active involvement in the Matamata community meant that Cranswick House and gardens were a social destination and the setting for many local events.

Cranswick House is a single-storied, two-bay Edwardian villa with a return balcony and exceptional fret work detailing. The balcony balustrades are of a geometric design. The house has a hipped roof and a combination of single and double opening sash windows. It was constructed from native timbers and had eight rooms. Large flower and vegetable gardens were planted and an orchard was raised.

Building company Mason Brothers added a sleeping porch to the house in 1926. Since 1949 the property has been subdivided and the land around the house has gradually decreased. Access to the property was also relocated from Burwood Road to Cranswick Crescent. In 1963 a sign was erected at the front of the property entitling it ‘Cranswick House’ in reference to the pioneer family and the social significance of their home, but this has since been removed. In a nod to its earlier history as the setting for local events, the Country Women’s Institute garden party and fashion parade was held at Cranswick House in 1989. . Cranswick House remained in original condition until alterations were made in 2004, including a significant extension.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Gordon, Albert William

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1916 -

1926 -
Sleeping porch added

2004 -

Completion Date

21st January 2014

Report Written By

Elise Caddigan

Information Sources

Stanley, 1990

Stanley, Joan, Matamata: End of an Era 1985-1989, Matamata: Matamata-Piako District Council, 1990.

Stanley, 2004

Stanley, Joan, Matamata: Ballot Farms and Families: 1904-2004, Matamata: Print Plus, 2004

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Lower Northern Office of the 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.