11 Shelly Beach Road And Cameron Street, St Marys Bay, Auckland

  • Trentham, St Marys Bay.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Joan McKenzie. Date: 19/08/2009.
  • From Shelly Beach Road, west elevation showing fretwork on barge board, enclosed verandah and domed roof of turret (looking south).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Joan McKenzie. Date: 19/08/2009.
  • Typical bay window (ground floor, west elevation).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Joan McKenzie. Date: 19/08/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4497 Date Entered 30th April 2010


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt DP 622 (CT NA1120/153), North Auckland Land District and the buildings and structures known as Trentham thereon, and their fittings and fixtures. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Pt DP 622 (CT NA1120/153), North Auckland Land District


Trentham is a visually prominent Edwardian villa, constructed in circa 1906-7 on the upper slopes of Auckland's prestigious St Marys Bay. The two-storey house expresses Eastlake and Queen Anne Revival architectural influences and can be considered a significant example of the lavish use of ornamentation in an Auckland suburban context.

Prior to the founding of colonial Auckland in 1840, Onemaru (Shelly Beach) was traditionally used by Maori for settlement and fishing. The site of Trentham lay within an 1844 Crown Grant and the later 1863 Dedwood residential subdivision. A timber house erected on the property before 1882 was removed when part of the land was sold to Auckland businessman Josiah Webster (1860-1953) in circa 1906. Webster ran a fruit and vegetable business in Queen Street, and was a notable sportsman and Freemason.

Webster erected a new two-storey timber villa on the site before 1908. The design capitalised on a corner site and a popular legacy of late-Victorian architectural eclecticism, and was by Auckland architect Arthur Ferneyhough (1872-1936). The building exhibited Eastlake and Queen Anne Revival influences, and had symmetrical facades linked by a semicircular bay with a prominent Moorish-domed turret. Lavish ornamentation included fretwork, shingling and spindles on double-height bays and verandahs. The building's cast iron roof cresting led a satirist to nominate Webster's house as an alternative Auckland residence for the Governor General.

The interior of the eleven-roomed residence was equally ornate and included pressed metal ceilings and a sweeping timber staircase up to a roof-top viewing platform. Masonic-inspired motifs were incorporated in glasswork, reflecting Webster's interest and later high office in Freemasonry. A cast iron boundary fence and pillars of befitting grandeur prominently professed a desire for privacy yet enabled display to the passing public.

In 1914 a mortgage was taken out on Trentham, coinciding with Webster's construction of the Grand Theatre on the site of his former fruit shop. Two years later the house was offered for sale as a 'gentleman's superior residence' with tennis court, ahead of a Supreme Court hearing of matters associated with the theatre construction contract. Although Webster retained ownership of both properties, the residence was briefly let as a maternity home and converted into four flats in 1921. During the Great Depression, part of the upstairs accommodation was occupied by Webster's son and family. Capitalising on links with theatre magnate Henry Hayward (1865-1945), Webster's wife Jane (1863?-1947) is said to have entertained touring celebrities including Anna Pavlova and Sybil Thorndike at the house.

In 1944 a share in the property was transferred to the Websters' daughter Anita who returned to live there. Well known in local dramatic circles, Anita was one of few women listed in Who's Who in New Zealand in 1951. In 1954, the family sold Trentham on a reduced land area. The ground floor was converted into two flats by enclosing parts of the north-facing verandah. The first-floor, west-facing verandah and the south-facing porch were enclosed by 1969, giving the building its existing form. The structure remains in private residential use.

Trentham has aesthetic significance as a notable local landmark of interesting exterior form. It is significant for its building interior which includes glasswork incorporating Masonic-inspired motifs, a timber staircase, and well-preserved pressed metal ceilings. The place has architectural significance as a notable example of a two-storey gentleman's villa of corner type exhibiting Eastlake and Queen Anne Revival influences. It is historically significant for its associations with Auckland entrepreneur and businessman Josiah Webster, and his daughter Anita who was active in Auckland's dramatic arts. The place has social value, including for its references to Freemasonry - an important social activity in some sections of male society.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Trentham is historically significant for its associations with Auckland entrepreneur and businessman Josiah Webster and his daughter Anita a teacher of dramatic art in the Auckland area and an acknowledged writer and performer of character sketches. Josiah Webster was a notable sportsman and Freemason, representing New Zealand as a rifle marksman and later holding the highest position in Royal Arch Masonry in New Zealand.

Aesthetic Significance or Value

Trentham has aesthetic significance as a notable local landmark of interesting form, which incorporates a Moorish-domed turret and ornate external detailing including cast iron and timber fretwork, timber brackets, turned posts and spindles. The value of the place is enhanced by its elevated corner location and an absence of competing tall developments, as well as by the presence of notable garden features such as a cast iron fence and gate. Trentham is also significant for its building interior, which includes glasswork incorporating Masonic-inspired motifs, a number of well-preserved pressed metal ceilings and associated components, a mantle piece, and an impressive timber staircase between the upper storey and the attic.

Architectural Significance or Value

Trentham has architectural significance as a notable example of a two-storey gentleman's villa of corner type incorporating Eastlake and Queen Anne Revival influences. These styles were widely popular in New Zealand in the Edwardian era and their use at Trentham reflects the eclectic nature of architecture at that time. The place also has architectural value for reflecting the presence of eastern and other exotic influences in some early twentieth-century domestic architecture. It has value for incorporating notable elements of landscape design that are of a similar date to the main building, including winding concrete paths, a cast iron fence and gate, concrete pillars and formal entrance steps.

Social Significance or Value

Trentham has social value for its references to Freemasonry - a fashionable and important social activity within some sectors of male society. It is also significant for its associations with the social aspirations and changing fortunes of the well-to-do in a prestigious Auckland suburb.

(a)The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history

Trentham has significance for its reflection of the material wealth, social status and lifestyle of some sectors of Auckland's business community in the early twentieth century including small business owners who prospered after the economic depression of the 1880s and early 1890s. The place also has signifi-cance for reflecting the importance of Freemasonry in late-nineteenth and early twentieth century protestant male society in New Zealand, and its acknowl-edgement and expression within a domestic environment. Trentham also re-flects the high regard in which celebrity and achievement in the realms of thea-tre and performance were held by women in urban society for many decades of the twentieth century.

(g)The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place

Trentham has technical value as a notable example of an Edwardian corner villa of lavish and eclectic design combining Eastlake influences evident in carved brackets, lathed elements and fretwork, with Queen Anne Revival style features such as coloured fanlights, a turret and slender brick chimneys with bulbous tops. The design is also of value for exhibiting a representative collec-tion of pressed metal ceilings, and a considerable range of generally available products from locally produced building catalogues that offered cast iron work, joinery and ornamental components of the late-Victorian and the Edwardian eras. Trentham's lavishly ornate elevations incorporating ornate porches and verandahs facing two street frontages reflect a concern with perceptions of so-cial status and are a notable contrast to the north-facing verandah used for fam-ily relaxation and leisure demonstrating the conflicting Edwardian objectives of public display and the maintenance of privacy in domestic life. Trentham also has significance for surviving elements of hard landscape including winding concrete paths, an iron front gate and fence railings, tall concrete pillars, plinths and concrete steps at the front entrance, illustrating integrated suburban house and garden design in early twentieth-century.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Ferneyhough, Arthur Lewitt

Arthur Lewitt Ferneyhough (1872-1936), the son of insurance agent and occasional dealer James Ferneyhaugh, was born in Nottingham, England. Ferneyhough arrived in New Zealand in circa 1890 and is believed to have worked in the drapery trade before serving his articles under Auckland architect Edward Bartley (1829-1919). In circa 1899 he went into practice on his own account and became known predominantly for his residential designs, the best known of which are Trentham (c.1907), a two storey timber villa with Moorish-dome in Shelly Beach Road, St Marys Bay; and Florence Court (c.1907), a brick villa of Baroque Revival design in Omana Avenue, Epsom. Taking up farming in circa 1919 Ferneyhough returned to architecture by 1926 and was evidently clerk of works for two substantial commercial projects in Auckland's commercial centre.

Additional informationopen/close

Historical Narrative

Early history of the site

Trentham is located in St Marys Bay above Shelly Beach (Onemaru), to the west of nearby Freemans Bay. Both localities were traditional places of Maori settlement and fishing. A former pa occupied part of land later within the southern approaches to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The area was part of the broader Auckland isthmus taken over by Ngati Whatua in the mid eighteenth century. The iwi's offer to transfer land to the British Crown for the foundation of a colonial capital at Auckland was formally accepted in September 1840.

St Marys Bay was part of an 1844 Crown Grant within broader Freemans Bay and Ponsonby, the first suburb west of the commercial centre of the colonial capital. Part of Allotment 13 was purchased by a J.C. Brooke in 1853 some distance to the west of the Roman Catholic community established by Bishop Pompallier at Mount St Mary. In 1863 Brooke undertook the 54-lot Dedwood subdivision, marketing sites for dwellings of a superior class with views of the Waitemata Harbour.

Four lots on the north side of the Cameron Street and Shelly Beach Road junction were sold in 1866. In 1878 after further changes of ownership, the holding was bought by Harriett Banbury the wife of a Napier warehouseman. At an unknown date between 1866 and 1882, a timber house was constructed. By 1902 Harriett and John Banbury, by then a mining agent, had relocated.

In 1906 following the revival of the Auckland economy after the depression of the 1880s and early 1890s, the property was subdivided into two, capitalising on a sustained demand by wealthy businessmen and professionals for elevated Ponsonby locations with sweeping harbour views. The southern and eastern portion was sold to Josiah Webster. The existing house was evidently demolished.

Josiah Daniel Webster (1860-1953) was the son Richard and Charlotte Webster, who arrived in Auckland from England in 1858. The family moved to Thames in circa 1868 where Josiah trained as a tinsmith or plumber. Following his marriage to Jane Smith (1863?-1947), Josiah joined his father-in-law in the fruit and vegetable trade. With Jane - a Sydney-trained florist - Webster became the proprietor of a business in Lower Queen Street close to the city's two main transport hubs, the railway station and Queen's Wharf.

Webster, a competitive rifle marksman, competed in Sydney in 1892 and represented New Zealand in London in 1897. Keenly pursuing new business opportunities, he evidently equipped his shop with one of the first soda fountains in the city, said to have been imported from America by his friend George Fowlds (1860-1934), a minister of the first Liberal Government. Josiah had been a Freemason since 1886 and later held the position of First Grand Principal, the highest position in Royal Arch Masonry in New Zealand. He was also subsequently honoured with the rank of Past Grand Warden. Freemasonry, a secular fraternal organisation the principal tenets of which are Brotherly Love (good fellowship and social activity), Relief (charity and social reform), and Truth (serious philosophical study) was a particularly important movement in early colonial, male society and also provided a supportive environment for many men returning to civilian life after the First and Second World Wars (1914-18 and 1939-45). Lodge membership was also seen by some as an affirmation of status.

Construction of Trentham (circa 1906-7)

Construction of Trentham appears to have commenced in 1906 and was complete before 1908. The two-storey timber villa was of sizeable dimensions, with brick foundations and an iron roof. Incorporating a dome-shaped turret on one corner and extensive ornamentation, the building's appearance exhibited exotic qualities that perhaps complemented Webster's involvement in picture theatres and the rituals of Freemasonry.

Trentham was designed by the Auckland architect Arthur Lewitt Ferneyhough (1872-1936). Capitalising on a corner site and a popular legacy of late-Victorian architectural eclecticism, its appearance suggested Eastlake influences, a style adopted for many New Zealand villas between 1890 and 1910. Named after English architect Charles Eastlake, the style had developed in America during the 1870s and was characterised by carved brackets, perforated circular designs and rows of lathe-turned decoration. Where spindles replaced sawn fretwork and predominated over other elements, it was known as the spindle style.

The Eastlake form was one of several styles affected by eastern cultural influences in the early years of the twentieth century. This trend is illustrated by the Moorish-domed roof of Trentham's semicircular bay. Trentham also incorporated aspects of Queen Anne Revival design, which had reached New Zealand in the 1880s. This style is evident in the building's coloured fanlights, roof cresting, turret and slender brick chimneys with bulbous tops.

Ornamentation was particularly lavish on the building's two main public elevations, and included diagonal corner brackets, spindles and iron fretwork. These elevations contained double-height bays with fancy-shingled gable ends and applied pilasters with acanthus-leaf capitals, the latter common on manufactured bay windows. On the Shelly Beach Road façade, a two-storey verandah connected the semicircular corner bay to a double-height bay with a fancy-shingled gable end. A similar arrangement on the Cameron Street elevation incorporated two recessed porches. Verandahs and porches on these and the north elevation were enclosed by ornately detailed bow-fronted, cast-iron railings. Unlike the formal showpieces facing the public realm of Shelly Beach Road and Cameron Street, the simpler north-facing verandah offering extensive harbour views was a places for family leisure and relaxation. The east elevation, effectively the rear of the house, incorporated a short, single-storey hipped roof section and was relatively plain.

The flat top of the building's pyramid-shaped roof enclosed by cast-iron cresting served as a harbour lookout, causing the Observer to note that, 'the Governor General is likely to change his abode while in Auckland from the old Government House to Si Webster's mansion on Shelly Beach Road [where there is] plenty of room for [a] sentry [to] go on the roof'.

Internally, the two-storey residence comprised eleven rooms. These included a bathroom, two water closets, a wash house, a pantry and a scullery. There was hot and cold running water. On the north side of the central hall of the ground floor was a bedroom or front room; a staircase; possibly a maid's parlour; and the kitchen and service area. The easternmost room off the south side appears to have been the dining room. Main rooms on the ground floor; and the upstairs hall and master bedroom, had pressed metal ceilings - a decorative feature popular after 1900. Other ceilings in the house were timber board and batten.

Photographs of Webster in Masonic regalia account for the Masonic references in Trentham. Cast glass fanlights and doors incorporate Masonic themes and reflect a broad acceptance of Masonic symbols as embellishment in a domestic context in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The glasswork also illustrates the growing popularity of stained glass after 1900. Coloured fanlights are believed to have protected the complexion and furnishings from harsh sun, while stained glass door panels admitted light to the hall yet afforded the household a degree of privacy from those who came to the front door where the mail was delivered.

Befitting the grandeur of the residence, a cast iron boundary fence set on a low concrete wall with tall pillars was a prominent statement of a desire for privacy yet enabled public display that a wall or hedge would not. A short distance inside the front gate, the concrete path divided into two: the broader one leading north to the front entrance; and a narrower route winding eastward along the front of the house towards the kitchen entrance. A tennis court occupied a levelled site to the east.

Trentham, notable for its lavish ornamentation and domed turret, was designed by architect and Freemason Arthur Ferneyhough. Webster and Ferneyhough were members of the same lodge, St Andrews Lodge No. 8, and both held the post of Grand Master of that body at different times. Ferneyhough's best-known architectural work was the grand Baroque Revival-style villa Florence Court (Record no. 7106, Category II historic place) constructed in Epsom in circa 1907 for the widow of Richard Hellaby. In designing Trentham, Ferneyhough drew upon locally produced catalogues offering an extensive array of cast ironwork, timber, joinery and pressed metal products.

The identity of Trentham's building contractor is not known.

Subsequent use and alterations

In 1914, Webster mortgaged his previously debt-free residence to finance the five-storey Grand Theatre, commissioned with a business partner for the site of his Queen Street fruit shop. The theatre, which like Trentham incorporated a dome in its design, was the seventh built in central city Auckland during the early years of picture theatre construction.

In July 1916 Trentham was offered at auction subject to a £2,000 mortgage, pending a Supreme Court hearing of proceedings between the building contractor and the theatre owners. The notice described it as a 'gentleman's superior residence' with tennis court. Although Webster retained both the house and the theatre, in the difficult times following the First World War many of the grand private residences in the area were divided up, converted to boarding houses or used as private hospitals.

Trentham was let as a maternity home in 1919, the date an external stair and door was provided on first floor of the east elevation. Unspecified alterations were undertaken in 1921 to convert the house into four flats. A pentice-roofed addition may have been made to the northeast corner at this time. The Websters, who appear to have lived elsewhere from 1919, returned to occupy Trentham's ground floor. Three two-roomed flats on the upper floor were let. The staircase between the ground and first floors may have been removed at this time, although 1954 may be the more likely date.

A garage for a private motorcar was built in 1924. Webster was an early participant in a motor vehicle importing venture known as Campbell Motors, which distributed Rugby and Durant motor vehicles. Webster later bought the firm and was also Board Chairman of Pukemiro Collieries and a printing works.

In 1924 the Grand Theatre suffered fire damage. Since its construction, Queen Street's most expensive and smallest picture theatre - colloquially known as the Baby Grand - had been leased by theatre magnate Henry Hayward (1865-1945) and managed by his wife Domenica. Jane Webster, capitalising on Hayward links and her reputation as a pre-eminent professional florist, is said to have entertained touring celebrities including the dancer Anna Pavlova and actress Sybil Thorndyke at Trentham.

During the Great Depression, the Websters' son Trentham Charles and his family took over part of the upstairs accommodation. In 1944 a quarter share in the property was transferred to the Websters' daughter Anita who returned to live at Trentham. By this time the house was in three tenancies, the largest occupied by the Websters downstairs, with another two upstairs. A teacher dramatic art in the Auckland area, Anita wrote and performed character sketches which she toured, and was one of few women listed in Who's Who in New Zealand, in 1951.

In 1954, the family sold the house on a reduced site, without its tennis court. The ground floor was converted into two flats, enclosing parts of the verandah to provide bathrooms. Completion of the Auckland Harbour Bridge brought greatly increased traffic volumes to Shelly Beach Road in the 1960s. In 1969 Trentham's upper, west-facing verandah was enclosed enabling each tenancy to be fully self-contained. The south-facing porch on the first floor may have already been enclosed. The property was transferred to cabinet-maker Hendrik Buikhuisen in 1971, remaining in his ownership for over two decades. At an unknown date prior to 1974 the southwest chimney, the northwest chimney and associated fireplaces were removed.

In the mid-1970s, a renewed interest in inner-city living brought incremental gentrification to the area. A sketch of Trentham was one of six historic Auckland houses featured on place mats and coaster. The residence also appeared on the cover of a paint chart produced by Samson Paints. At an unknown date before 1990 Trentham reverted from five flats to four. Between 1994 and 1996, the residence was known by the name of Lanware House. A stairway has since been reinstated. The building remains in private residential use.

Physical Description


Trentham is located on the northern slopes of St Marys Bay, an inner suburb to the west of Auckland's Central Business District (CBD). Positioned at the west junction of Cameron Street with Shelly Beach Road, the building is a local landmark on the route from Auckland Harbour Bridge's Shelly Beach Road off-ramp. The surrounding area is predominantly residential. Many houses date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with interspersed apartments that include high-density, high-rise developments. Properties fronting Jervois Road - a major urban traffic route between the inner western suburbs and the CBD a block to the south - are occupied by a variety of residential, commercial and church buildings.

Notable features within the broader historical landscape of St Marys Bay include a number of nineteenth-century ecclesiastical buildings namely St Stephen's Presbyterian Church (Record no. 652, Category II historic place), Ponsonby Baptist Church, St Johns Church (Methodist) (Record no. 643, Category II historic place), St Marys Old Convent Chapel (Record No. 649, Category I historic place), and Bishops House. Early twentieth-century public buildings include the former Ponsonby Post Office (Record no. 628, Category I historic place), Leys Institute Gymnasium Building (Record no. 612, Category I historic place) and Leys Institute Public Library Building (Record no. 613, Category I historic place). The place also lies within a wider area containing a range of residential buildings including Renall Street (Record no. 7010, historic area), a thoroughfare of nineteenth and early twentieth-century houses; and Stichbury Terrace (Record no. 658, Category II historic place) a First World War-era apartment building.

The site consists of a rectangular section of 698 square metres. It contains a main residence close to the north boundary and a modern single-storey garage to the east. Together, these occupy most of the lot. Adjoining the west and south boundaries to the street are two well-established garden areas. These consist of concrete paths winding through lawn, and plantings close to the house. Terracotta dish-drains survive along the path edge in places. The concrete paths are a surviving feature of Trentham's original garden layout as shown on a 1908 plan of properties within Auckland City. A yard to the east of the house is occupied by a service court and the garage.

The lower storey of the house is well screened on both street frontages by a historic cast iron gate and fence supplemented by hedge plantings. Regularly spaced, tall concrete pillars at the gate and intervals along the fence are a surviving original feature.

Main building - exterior

The main building consists of a two-storey timber villa that expresses Eastlake and Queen Anne Revival architectural influences. Incorporating important features such as its corner turret and extensive ornamental detail, its initial external design is comparatively unmodified apart from the enclosing of a former west-facing verandah and a south-facing porch on the upper storey.

The house is largely rectangular in plan with projecting bays and a short single storey wing at the rear. The roof ridge with gable end runs along two sides of a central pyramid form and is corrugated metal. A cast iron railing enclosing a flat area on the roof has been removed. A sizeable dome off the southeast corner is an unusual feature contributing to Trentham's landmark status and is clad with metal of a well-articulated diamond pattern. Two tall brick chimneys with corbelled tops and glazed chimney pots survive at the east end of the building. There are four skylights in north face of the roof.

The domed corner bay is flanked to either side by two highly ornamented elevations. That on the west side contains a double-height bay and a verandah connecting it to the corner bay. That on the south side contains a double-height bay and two recessed porches. Original curved, shallow steps of concrete construction up to the front door on the west elevation have wing walls curving out to a pair of rectangular plinths. The plinths echo the pillars of the perimeter fence. The verandah deck and ceiling on this elevation consists of tongue and groove timber. The north elevation overlooking the harbour has a two storey verandah with cast-iron railings and a single-storey addition at the east end. Parts of the verandah have been enclosed. The east elevation which includes a single-storey kitchen wing and an external timber stairway to the upper floor has few windows and is free of ornamental detailing.

The building is clad with plain timber weatherboards. Gable ends and pagoda profile bay window sunhoods feature lozenge-shaped timber shingles. Windows are predominantly of a single pane sash style and have dual-coloured fanlights that suggest a Masonic influenced design. Sinuous timber fretwork on barge boards, diagonal corner brackets and spindles provide dense decoration. Other surviving decorative elements include bow-shaped cast-iron balustrades.

Verandahs on the north elevation are supported by heavy turned timber posts and have been partially enclosed. A set of timber steps connects the ground floor verandah to a side path.

On the east elevation a short flight of concrete steps leads down a door in the single-storey, section of the building. A small pentice-roofed addition has been made at the northeast corner. External stairs lead to the first floor entrance which is sheltered by a porch with windows divided into diamonds by timber glazing bars.

Main building - interior

The interior retains early twentieth-century building fabric but the layout has been altered on both floors. Rooms on both storeys open off a central hall.

The northeast portion of the ground floor containing a flat (former kitchen and service area) was not inspected. A second flat occupies the west section of the north side of the ground floor. Off the south side of the hall are a bedroom with en-suite, and a rumpus room with bar (former dining room).

The north side of the first floor is an open-plan kitchen and lounge area, off which is a small study (former west verandah) and living room (northeast). At the east end of the hall (north side) is a laundry and toilet. Off the south side are two bedrooms, each with an en-suite.

The attic has two small rooms and an en-suite. The basement was not inspected.

Ground Floor

The front entrance opens into a timber-panelled hall with a reproduction staircase that has been based on the design of the surviving upper floor staircase. Timber panelling is also a recent addition, although six-panel doors and architraves with roundels appear to be an original feature. The space has a coffered pressed metal ceiling. The front door case incorporates leadlight glass of clear, mushroom and blue shades and loosely references Masonic themes based on square and compasses and possibly the plumb rule. The nature of the glass and craftsmanship raises the possibility that the feature may have been added after Trentham's construction.

Off the south side of the hall, surviving original building fabric in the room with the semicircular bay includes curved skirting boards, timber floor, pressed metal scotias, and a metal ceiling incorporating a vented centre-piece of convex profile. To the north of the chimney breast is the opening to a modern en-suite.

A rumpus room (original dining room) at the end of the hall is rectangular with a canted bay. On the north wall is a modern fire within a circa 1950s hearth and surround. The west wall has a modern bar alcove. The door to an exterior porch (an original feature) has a cast glass panel with a symbol similar to other fanlights in this room and elsewhere. The art nouveau-patterned pressed metal ceiling has deep scotias and a vented centre-piece.

The west room off the north of the hall has a pressed metal ceiling, window seat, and fanlights with a star-shaped symbol. A door south of the chimney breast opens into a small internal room (possible former staircase space) and has circa 1950s ceiling and linings. A small kitchen with linings and fittings of similar date is located to the north behind the chimney breast. Within the verandah space is a bathroom accessed by French doors. Above the external door of a laundry is a fanlight with opaque, floral pattern cast glass. The verandah ceiling is of matchlining.

A room (possibly former housekeeper's or maid's day room) at the east end of the hall, has a circa 1950s ceiling and French doors onto the verandah. Its unusual shape may be due to an angled chimney breast and associated room behind (original kitchen).

First Floor

The central hall has an arch with acanthus trusses. The glass panel of the door at the east end has a blazing star (said to be a symbol of Divine Providence, bringing blessings and giving life and light; prudence). The star is centred upon a red cross suggestive of the Rose Croix often associated with Scottish Rite Masonry.

A remnant pressed metal ceiling mid-way along the hall, running north at right angles through the current open-plan kitchen and living area may indicate the original location of the stairs. Board and batten ceilings either side indicated the former location of two bedrooms. The north verandah accessed by four bi-fold doors of modern type has a decoratively patterned cast iron, bow-shaped balustrade, timber posts, fretwork and spindles.

The southwest bedroom with semicircular bay has a built in wardrobe, chimney breast, board and batten ceiling, and an en-suite within what was formerly the end of the hall. The master bedroom (southeast) has a pressed metal ceiling and fittings of art nouveau pattern. A timber fire surround - with bevel-edged mirrors in the mantle piece - and columns with arabesques appears to be an original feature. The interior of the former fire recess has blue, white and green floral-patterned tiles.


The timber staircase to two rooms and en-suite in the attic is a striking feature of the house. The attic ceiling appears to be original sarking. The low walls are matchlined or a similar. The north-facing rooms are each lit by two modern skylights.


A single-storey garage located close to the street frontage has timber weatherboard cladding and a gable roof of corrugated metal. The south gable incorporates a plain inset suggestive of a simplified arch within square-ended bargeboards. The interior was not inspected.

Construction Dates

First timber house and outbuilding, removed in 1906

Original Construction
1906 - 1907
Two-storey house; perimeter iron fence, gated, concrete pillars, paths

1919 -
External stair and door to first floor, east elevation

1921 -
House converted to four flats (one ground floor; three first floor)

Original Construction
1924 -

1969 -
West verandah enclosed (first floor)

Conversion to dwelling and two flats; stairway built between ground and first floors; hall timber panelling (ground floor)

1954 -
Conversion to two flats, parts of north verandah enclosed (ground floor)

Construction Details

Brick foundation walls, timber frame, timber weatherboard cladding, metal roof, brick chimneys

Completion Date

22nd March 2010

Report Written By

Joan McKenzie

Information Sources

Cleave's Auckland Provincial Directory

Cleave's Auckland Provincial Directory, Auckland

Curl, 1991

James Stevens Curl, The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry, London, 1991

Hayward, 1979

B and S Hayward, Cinemas of Auckland 1896-1979, Auckland, 1979

Hill, 1985

Martin Hill, Restoring with Style, Wellington, 1985.

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Scholefield, 1951

G H Scholefield.(ed.), Who's who in New Zealand, A.H. & A.W. Reed, 5th ed. 1951

Stacpoole, 1972

John Stacpoole and Peter Beaven, 'Architecture 1820-1970', Wellington, 1972

Phillips, 1983

J Phillips & C Maclean, In Light of the Past, 1983

Brittenden, 2008

Wayne Brittenden, Celluloid Circus: The Heyday of the NZ Picture Theatre, Auckland, 2008

Carlyon, 2008

Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow, Urban Village: The Story of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and St Mary's Bay, Auckland, 2008

Other Information

A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Northern Region Office

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.