York House and Kirkwood House (Former)

112, 112B And 114 Moray Place, Dunedin

  • York House and Kirkwood House (Former), Dunedin. York House (right) and Kirkwood House (left).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Heather Bauchop. Date: 9/01/2018.
  • York House and Kirkwood House (Former), Dunedin.York House (right) and Kirkwood House (left) from Moray Place.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Heather Bauchop. Date: 9/01/2018.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4708 Date Entered 25th September 1986


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 3122 (CT OT197/221) and Lot 2 DP 3122 (CT OT197/222), Otago Land District, and the buildings known as York House and Kirkwood House (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 3122 (CT OT197/221) and Lot 2 DP 3122 (CT OT197/222), Otago Land District


This handsome pair of inner city dwellings were possibly designed by Mason and Wales and built for prominent Dunedin businessman, lawyer and politician John Bathgate in 1876-1877. Located on Moray Place and set among some of Dunedin’s finest architecture, the terraced houses have architectural and historical significance.

In the early 1870s this section was occupied by plumber Ralph Waterhouse, whose name appears on the land deeds. Waterhouse offered the Section 40 Block XIV for sale in March 1871 at which time it is described as ‘ having ‘a very substantially-built dwelling house thereon, erected by the proprietor for his own residence.’ In 1871, John Bathgate purchased the property, and in 1873 offered it for sale. Bathgate (1809-1886) was a prominent Dunedin lawyer, businessman and politician. Bathgate did not sell it, and seems to have instead redeveloped the site – building two terraced dwelling houses.

While the architect of these houses has not been confirmed, in January 1876 architects Mason and Wales place a notice requesting tenders for ‘a pair of Four Storey Houses in Moray Place’ to be constructed of stone and brick or concrete. The job does not appear in Mason and Wales job list for the period, but that list is incomplete. These dates also fit with the Dunedin City Council Rating information. In addition, a photograph, probably dating from early-mid 1877, shows the partly-constructed building. In August 1877, agents Street and Morris offered to let ‘Commodious Brick Dwelling-Houses, just finished, Moray Place’. They were described as:

‘1. DWELLING HOUSE, FOUR STOREYS, containing public rooms, nine bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, &c.

2. DWELLING HOUSE, THREE STOREYS, containing public rooms, four bedrooms, kitchen, scullery, &c.’

Bathgate sold the property to draper Daniel Haynes in 1890-1891.

The two dwellings, then, appear to have been tenanted from the outset. An 1880s block plan identifies the houses as ‘York House’ (the right hand dwelling, facing the houses), and ‘Kirkwood House.’ In the rates records, Lilly Knox was identified as a boarding house keeper in 1881. Mrs Fale advertised her ‘Central Boarding Establishment’ for ‘Gentlemen in want of Comfortable Homely Accommodation’ at York House on Moray Place from 1886-1888. Bankrupt miner Henry Neel Mills identified his home as York House in 1889, noting it was run as a boarding establishment with 18 rooms but that ‘there was very little doing.’

Kirkwood House had a number of tenants: in 1889 it was occupied by a Mrs Graham; in 1891 by a Dr Barnett, and in the early 1890s by a ‘Widow Lady.’ Miss Aitken ‘Teacher of Pianoforte, Organ and Harmony’ offered lessons from the house in the late 1890s until around 1908. Violin teacher Arthur Neale taught from his studio at Kirkwood House in the 1920s.

After Haynes’ death the property was subdivided and sold. Separate titles were issued for the dwellings. The subdivision plan identified the buildings as Warwick House (the dwelling previously known as York House), and Kirkwood House. Kirkwood House was advertised for sale in 1929, as a ‘Cemented Brick Residence (with bluestone base) of 7 rooms and modern conveniences, including e.l. [electric light], porcelain enamel bath, modern papers, washhouse, etc., all under one roof.’ It was described as ‘within a couple of minutes of the busiest part of the city, and yet in a quiet neighbourhood. Music teachers and other professional people should inspect this property.’

Dunedin lawyer and politician Josiah Hanan purchased the property from Haynes’ estate. After Josiah died, son Alfred Hanan converted the property to flats. He also called the house Hansborough after the family’s home in Ireland. Dr James Hanan had his surgery in the house in later years. In 2018, Hansborough House and its neighbour, remain flats.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Mason & Wales Architects Ltd

Mason and Wales Architects Ltd is the oldest architectural practice in New Zealand, having been founded by William Mason (1810-1897) in 1862 Dunedin. Mason was born in England, studied under Peter Nicholson and worked under Thomas Telford and Edward Blore. In 1838 he immigrated to New South Wales, and came to New Zealand in 1840. Having spent 22 years in Auckland he went to Dunedin at the time of the gold discoveries and was elected the first mayor of Dunedin in 1865. He was active in politics as well as in architecture.

Mason was in partnership firstly with David Ross (1827-1908) and William Henry Clayton (1823-1877) and he took in N.Y.A. Wales (1832-1903) when Clayton left the firm to become Colonial Architect in Wellington. Wales had worked as a clerk of works and was very competent in all aspects of construction.

The firm was responsible for many of Dunedin's early important buildings such as the Post Office (later known as the Exchange Building), Princes Street (1864-68), the Exhibition Building (later the Dunedin Hospital), Great King Street (1864), St Matthew's Church, Stafford Street (1873), and the Wains Hotel, Princes Street (1878).

Mason and Wales designed the Abbotsford Farm Steading (1871) at Outram, Otago (NZHPT Reg. No. 7579). This farm steading was designed for James Shand, a prominent land owner, politician and businessman in the area. Mason and Wales designed another farm steading for Shand at his property Berkeley in 1881 (demolished 1981). In 1881, Mason and Wales also designed a plain concrete Chicory Kiln (NZHPT Reg. No. 3359, Cat II) at Inch Clutha, South Otago for Gregg and Coy.

Mason and Wales continues today. N.Y.A. Wales (b.1927) is a fourth generation director of the firm.

WALES, Nathaniel Young Armstrong (1832-1903)

Wales was born in Northumberland, England, and educated at Jedburgh, Scotland. He immigrated to Australia in 1854 and found employment as a carpenter working on the buildings for the first exhibition held in Melbourne.

He arrived in Dunedin about 1863, and was a clerk of works for William Mason on the old Bank of New Zealand Building (1862-64), the Post Office Building (1864-68) and the Port Chalmers Graving Dock (1868-72).

Wales entered partnership with William Mason in 1871. The firm of Mason and Wales was responsible for many fine buildings in Dunedin including Bishopscourt (1873), St Matthew's Church (1873), Government Life Insurance Building (1897) and Wains Hotel (1878).

Wales had military and political interests and was a Member of Parliament for some years. He occupied a seat on the Dunedin Harbour Board and was a Dunedin City Councillor. In 1895 he was elected Mayor of Dunedin. In 1900 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1876 - 1877

1921 -

Completion Date

7th January 2018

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

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 Otago/Southland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand