House (Former)

15 Gordon Terrace, Matamata

  • House (Former).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Fiona Low. Date: 1/10/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4225 Date Entered 5th September 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt Lot 7 DPS 20292 (CT SA43C/125), South Auckland Land District and the building known as House (Former) thereon. The post-1961 rest home extensions to the rear are excluded from the registration.

City/District Council

Matamata-Piako District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 7 DPS 20292 (CT SA43C/125), South Auckland Land District


The house at 15 Gordon Terrace, Matamata was built in 1916 for local farmer and politician James Frederick Vosper (1872-1948). The large farmhouse, now a private rest home (Rawhiti Lodge Care), was designed by prominent Waikato architect Frederick Charles Daniell and is a representative example of a corner bay villa. The Vosper family had strong community and political ties with the developing town of Matamata and the former farmhouse remains an important feature of Matamata’s townscape.

The house is built upon Section 14 from the 1904 settlement ballot, which was allocated to Frederick Herbert Good. Vosper purchased the farm on Waharoa Road East, Matamata in 1914. Originally a farmer in Taranaki, Vosper sold his farm and left the district in 1911. Vosper and his brother, Alfred Cleave Vosper (1867-1949), were probably the first to bring a herd of jersey cows to Matamata. The Vosper farm was prosperous, producing award-winning jersey heifers, bulls and calves. Vosper was the founding president of the Matamata Jersey Breeders Club which was formed in September 1921. Involved in the development of early Matamata, Vosper was a commissioner of the first Town Board from July 1917 to April 1920 and September 1924 to September 1926.

The 1916 farm homestead is a single-storey, corner angle bay villa, originally with five bedrooms, three living rooms, a large foyer and three verandahs. The house was constructed with a timber frame and a corrugated iron roof. Exterior features include lavish decorative fretwork and brackets, a tied verge board, finial gable ends and a pediment over the main entrance. The Vosper family planted numerous trees and created attractive gardens which were the location for many garden parties held by the local Methodist Women’s fellowship. Access to the property was via a long tree-lined driveway off Waharoa Road East. The house was designed by architect Frederick Charles Daniell (1879-1953), who established a practice in Hamilton in 1908. Daniell was a prominent architect in the Waikato region and buildings such as Wesley Chambers (1924) and St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (1914) in Hamilton are examples of his work.

In 1961 a fire burnt approximately half of the house and the exterior was restored as closely as possible to the original. In 1984 it was purchased for use as a private rest home facility, which it remains today. Various alterations have been made to the property, including relocation of the driveway and significant extensions in the 1980s and 1990s.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Daniell, Frederick Charles

Fred C Daniell was born in Wales and came to New Zealand as an infant in 1879. His father Charles operated a large timber mill in Masterton and after being educated at Wellington College Daniell joined the family business. At various stages he managed another sawmill in competition with his father, was involved in the survey of the Napier-Taupo Road and was a corporal in the Masterton Mounted Rifles. Of the eight children born to FC Daniell and his wife Helen Gordon-Donald, Trevor Hamilton Daniell also became an architect.

In 1908 Daniell established a practice in Hamilton, where he opened an office in the Waikato Times Building. At various times he was in partnerships with local architects J. Anderson (1912), T.S. Cray (1914-17) and T.Y. Lusk (1920-26), although the specifications for Knightstone are under his name alone. Daniell became a member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1915 and, having helped to establish the South Auckland Branch of the NZIA, became its first secretary in1923-7.

Among the many buildings he designed in Hamilton, Daniell is best known for Wesley Chambers (1924, NZHPT Category II Register # 5301), St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (1914) and his own home 'Ingleholm' at 11 O'Neill Street (1911), both in Hamilton East. The 1911-12 Parr house (now the YWCA) on Pembroke Street in Hamilton West is very similar to Knightstone in its current form, suggesting that Daniell was also responsible for the design of the latter's 1919 addition. His prolific output included designs for residences as well as shops, commercial premises, churches, farm buildings and dairy industry buildings.

Winston Daniell recalled in a 2002 interview that his father 'was always keen on concrete'. In his survey of early concrete construction in New Zealand, Geoffrey Thornton lists Daniell amongst those New Zealand architects using Camerated Concrete in the early twentieth century and he goes on to observe that 'no doubt FC Daniell is typical of a number of lesser known architects of the first two decades of the twentieth century who worked quietly in the design of reinforced concrete without the services of a structural engineer'. Thornton also records that Daniell designed a number of dairy factories for the NZ Co-operative Dairy Company, including the 1917 Matangi Dairy Factory just outside Hamilton (Category II, Reg # 4935, see also reg #4302 former Matangi Dairy Co. house).

Despite the evident success of his Hamilton practice in the 1910s and early 1920s, Daniell's financial situation became increasingly precarious. A farm at Te Mawhai, south-west of Te Awamutu, was at first a secondary occupation but in the mid-1920s the family moved out to the farm and Daniell effectively stopped practicing architecture. In 1935 he returned to Masterton and thereupon resumed his architectural career. Here Daniell was also involved in community and local body affairs, serving on the boards of Wairarapa College and the Electricity and Catchment Boards. Daniell's Masterton practice was continued by his son Trevor after his death in 1953.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1916 -

1961 -
Exterior rebuilt

1985 -


Completion Date

4th December 2013

Report Written By

Elise Caddigan

Information Sources

Stanley, 1985

Stanley, Joan, Matamata: Growth of a Town, Matamata, 1985

Vennell, 1951

C W Vennell et. al., Centennial History of Matamata Plains, Matamata, 1951

Stanley, 1990

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

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from Lower Northern Regional 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.