200 Queen Street (State Highway 25) And Willoughby Street, Thames

  • Moyard, Thames.
    Copyright: Dr Ann McEwan. Taken By: Dr Ann McEwan. Date: 18/09/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4633 Date Entered 19th March 1986


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 2 DPS 10624 (CT 513476), South Auckland Land District, and the building known as Moyard thereon.

City/District Council

Thames-Coromandel District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DPS 10624 (CT 513476), South Auckland Land District


Moyard is a visually prominent example of Rustic or Carpenter Gothic-influenced architecture, connected with wealth gained from the revival of Thames’ gold-mining industry in the 1890s. Located on the former foreshore at Shortland, the ornate, two-storey timber residence was probably erected for Edward McDonnell (1838-1901), a local merchant and investor who had participated in Thames’ initial rise as a mining town some 30 years previously. McDonnell was a member of the Thames Harbour Board, president of the Thames School of Mines Council and chairman of the Thames Jockey Club Committee. His wife, Sarah McDonnell (née McIntire; c.1848-1906) was additionally a benefactor of numerous local, regional and overseas institutions. Subsequently becoming a parsonage between 1907 and 1946, Moyard has further significance for its associations with the history of Methodism in Thames. Enlarged in circa 2011, it continues to contribute to an important historical and cultural landscape linked with gold-mining and other past activity in the town.

Moyard lies beside the pre-1860s shoreline, within the rohe of Ngāti Maru. Before European arrival, the Thames foreshore was divided into numerous customary interests enabling hapū from throughout Hauraki to access pātiki (flatfish) in associated fishing grounds. Occupying land known as Rangiriri, the site was incorporated in the new township of Shortland after the Thames goldfield opened in August 1867. As part of Lot 97, the property passed through successive owners before being acquired in 1887 by Edwin George Boon, who occupied a large timber house on the site. An established tailor and clothier, Boon was a warden of St George’s Anglican Church and also stood unsuccessfully for the Thames mayoralty. In 1894, Boon sold the property to Edward McDonnell, a wealthy merchant and investor whose purchase coincided with an investment boom stimulated in part by improved techniques for extracting gold, which resulted in a surge of construction in Thames in the mid- to late 1890s. McDonnell almost certainly commissioned the current residence during this period.

Moyard was erected as a large, timber bay villa incorporating Rustic or Carpenter Gothic design influences. Originating among élite groups in Britain, the latter style had been widely taken up in wider, middle-class society by the mid-1800s and applied to more modest urban and suburban dwellings, including in North America. Although Gothic Revival was commonly employed for residential design in nineteenth-century New Zealand, the use of this more ornate variant for Moyard may have been influenced by an overseas trip undertaken by McDonnell and his wife Sarah in 1893, which encompassed Britain and the northern United States of America. The double-storey weatherboarded residence incorporated a shingled roof with prominent gables and gablets featuring elaborate bargeboards. It also exhibited windows with squared hood moulds, and a return verandah containing ornate fretwork of quatrefoil design. Internally, the residence may have encompassed up to eleven rooms, with an additional pantry and scullery. The building was named after Moyard in Galway, the Irish county that McDonnell originated from.

Having come to Thames in 1867 as a miner, Edward McDonnell participated in the investment boom of the 1890s, purchasing Pepper’s Battery and other interests at nearby Tapu in 1895. He became president of the Thames School of Mines in 1900, and among other public roles was a Justice of the Peace and member of the Thames Licensing Committee. After his death in 1901, Sarah McDonnell continued to occupy the house, employing a general servant and bequeathing funds to a large number of institutions, many connected with the Catholic Church. In 1907 the property became a Wesleyan parsonage, initially occupied by Reverend Joseph Blight, who later took charge of the first Methodist orphanage in New Zealand. The residence remained in the same use until 1946, evidently becoming the settlement’s only Methodist parsonage after union between the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist congregations in 1913. Subsequently reverting to private ownership, part of the back garden was subdivided in 1965. By 1971, the house had been divided into flats. In the late twentieth century, the residence was converted back to its initial function as a single family dwelling, with a large garage extension and some interior changes being made in circa 2011. In 2018, the property remained in use as a private residence.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Timber house erected on site

Original Construction
1894 -

Addition of two ground-floor bedrooms at rear, south side

Alteration of single front door to two doors as part of conversion to flats

Reconversion of two doors to single front door

2011 -
Garage addition and internal modifications

Completion Date

27th June 2018

Report Written By

Martin Jones

Information Sources

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Land Information New Zealand

SO 36125, South Auckland Land District, Land Information New Zealand.

Northern Advocate

Northern Advocate

Northern Advocate, 24 Oct 1933, p. 4.

Thames Star

Thames Star

Thames Star, 8 Mar 1894, p. 2.

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald, 30 Aug 1901, p. 5.

Harris, H.P. 1967

Harris, H.P., A Century of Light: Centennial Survey of Thames Methodist Church, Thames, 1967.

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.