Historical Significance or Value
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge, through its former association with Benjamin Naylor stands as an outstanding reminder of the pivotal role played by storekeepers, such as Benjamin Naylor, during the Central Otago gold rushes. Benjamin Naylor was one of the first storekeepers in Clyde, arriving with the first tide of miners in c.1862. The buildings tell the story of the wealth storekeepers could generate from their trade with the miners, and then the settling down, both on the ground in the establishment of Clyde as a permanent settlement, and to the more steady economic progress of the 1870s. Naylor's civic activities, role in local body politics and the community, are also typical of the period where merchants were important individuals in these developing towns.
The former Benjamin Naylor's Complex is also has more recent historic significance in its new reincarnation as Olivers Restaurant and Lodge. Fleur Sullivan, who restored first Dunstan Hotel, trading as Dunstan House, and then Naylor's Complex, has been a pioneer at the forefront of the renaissance of tourism in Central Otago, which in a similar way to the gold rushes of the 1860s has changed the landscape, and marked a new era in the history of the region.
The Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge owes its architectural significance to the scale of the complex, the materials used in its construction, the relatively intactness of the grouping; and its contribution to the historic streetscape of Clyde. The entire complex is built from local schist or mud brick, was used for its original function from c.1870-1967, and has been preserved largely in its original layout in its more recent use as boutique accommodation. Within New Zealand schist is largely concentrated in Central Otago where it was commonly used for the erection of a wide range of building types in the nineteenth century because timber was scarce in the region and stone could be easily extracted. This is a notable complex of vernacular structures that were once essential to the general merchant's business, including bakery, stables, annexe\store and homestead complete with cellar.
The complex forms an integral part of the streetscape of Clyde, an important historical Central Otago town dating from the discovery of gold in the area in 1862. The former Naylor's store is one of the earlier extant buildings in Sunderland Street, built prior to other imposing schist structures such as Dunstan House (1900), which stands directly opposite Oliver's Restaurant, and Dunstan Hotel (1903), on the adjacent corner.
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge has archaeological significance. The buildings and use of the land date from the 1860s, with change of use, demolition of older structures, predating the some of Naylor's buildings notable from early photographs. The place has the potential to reveal further information through archaeological investigation.
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge has social significance, as a long standing business in Clyde. It operated as a general store and draper for nearly 100 years. General stores formed a community hub in small towns, providing essential goods and a place where locals met. Since its reincarnation as Olivers Restaurant and Lodge, that central role in the community has changed, and become more exclusive, attracting both locals and tourists. It now has a wider place in the social scene of Central Otago as a whole.
(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:
The complex that forms Oliver's Lodge and Restaurant is a good example of the range of buildings and functions required to operate a general merchant's business in the nineteenth century. This is an important example representative of this period in New Zealand's history as there are few other examples of general stores with the range of other structures in the complex still extant.
There are several stores dating in former goldfield towns, with their origins in the nineteenth century registered with NZHPT:
Duggan's Store and Stables and Yard Wall at Matakanui (c.1879, N. 339 Category I) with its significance resting on it mud brick construction, its range of buildings, and its interior.
The former Bordeaux Store Complex at Arthurs Point near Queenstown (c.1874 Category II, No.2238) is made up of the former store and an outbuilding, with other archaeological features.
The All Nations Store at Naseby (c.1888 NZHPT reference no. 2262).
Ah Lums Store (c.1883 Category I No. 4366)
Arrowtown General Store (c.1875, Category I, No.4370)
Benjamin Naylor's store dates from 1870, so is the earliest of the above registered buildings, although the rest of the complex dates from later in the century. Naylor's Complex has the most extensive collection of outbuildings and associated features of any of these stores. The Complex is comparable in importance to the Arrowtown General Store which has a Category I registration.
(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:
Benjamin Naylor was a significant local figure in the history of Clyde. He was one of the first storekeepers to set up business in Clyde in 1862. He was mayor of the Clyde Borough for four years and also served on the Borough Council prior to the establishment of the Vincent County Council. He then served on this council also until 1902.
(c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge provides knowledge of New Zealand's history as an excellent example of a complete suite of the structures that were once used in the business of a general merchant, and the close association between residence and work in this period.
(e) The community association with, or public esteem for, the place:
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge is well known within the local Clyde community, as well as further a field in Central Otago and nationally (as Olivers Restaurant and Lodge). While this comes about partly through the reputation of the restaurant and lodge, it is also through the unique historical buildings in which the business is located, the special character of the buildings and the use they have been put to. The complex of buildings is significant in Central Otago, and one that the public is familiar with and holds in high esteem. This began with Fleur Sullivan's purchase and restoration of the complex in 1981 and the buildings' repute has grown since this time.
(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge provides an good example of the stonemason's craft. In its extensive use of stone in the construction of the range of buildings, and the stone walls that surround the complex it shows technical accomplishment. The use of mud brick for some of the walling is also significant, providing a further example of vernacular construction materials and methods. The prominent position on the main street of Clyde adds to the significance and visibility of the method and materials.
(i) The importance of identifying historic places known to date from early periods of New Zealand settlement:
This is one of the earliest extant complex of buildings in Clyde.
(j) The importance of identifying rare types of historic places:
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge Complex forms one of the few extant complexes of structures associated with a general merchant's store and nineteenth century rural business.
(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape:
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge Complex is integrally associated with the landscape and cultural and historical heritage of Central Otago, and in particular the historic streetscape of Clyde. The vernacular architectural style of the buildings that make up this complex connect it to other similar structures (stores, houses, outbuildings) throughout the region.
The plain but elegant façade of the store front, the variety of building types, and the mass of the walls surrounding the complex make it an outstanding element in Clyde's historic streetscape.
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge Complex in Clyde is a group of some eight stone buildings and associated structures dating from c.1869 onwards, which in its extent and styling recalls the importance of storekeepers in goldfields Otago. The buildings take up nearly half a block on the main street of Clyde and include Naylor's former general store, his house, a former bakery, smokehouse and other outbuildings and surrounding stone walls.
Benjamin Naylor's links to Clyde, as with the majority of its early settlers is intrinsically linked with the history of the discovery and mining of gold in Central Otago. Gold mining began in Central Otago with Gabriel Read's discovery of gold in Gabriel's Gully, near present-day Lawrence, in 1861. The following year miners Hartley and Reilly left this gully and travelled further into Central Otago. They spent the winter prospecting in the now-flooded Clutha Gorge between present day Clyde (first known as Dunstan) and Cromwell, finding enough gold in the area to travel back to Dunedin and lodge 87 pounds with the Gold Receiver.
The 1862 discovery precipitated a rush to the area, with the first passenger-carrying coach travelling from Dunedin to Clyde in November of that year. Benjamin Naylor was one of the early arrivals in 1862. At this time a ragged canvas town quickly sprang up, and by December of that year between six and seven thousand miners and settlers occupied Clyde and the surrounding areas. Sunday afternoons would see up to 4000 men congregate in the town. At Christmas 1862, 320 people sat down to dinner at one of the "innumerable" hotels, the cost of the meal being 10s 6d. While Clyde was itself the centre of mining activity in 1862, as gold was quickly discovered in other parts of Central Otago such as Arrowtown and Queenstown it was also the source of supplies for those travelling on to other areas.
A photograph dated c. 1862 shows a profile of canvas and wooden buildings along the terrace above the river where the town now stands, and a small collection of wooden structures on the lower beach. By the late 1860s photographs show a row of single-storied wooden buildings running cheek-by-jowl along the main street, now known as Sunderland Street. The buildings all feature flat-fronted facades with business signs, among them one named the Dunstan Hotel, and the Hartley Arms Hotel can be seen several doors along. These were just two of many hotels in the town.
Naylor's store first store was likely to have a canvas and scantling structure. It is not identifiable in early photographs, but later images of the town, taken prior to the construction of the two storied stone Dunstan Hotel in 1900 show Naylor's store, home and other outbuildings filling the block between Sunderland, Fache and Naylor streets.
Benjamin Naylor was born in 1830 at Worksop, Nottinghamshire. He was trained as a blacksmith and worked at this trade until he went to Australia in 1851, where he spent ten years on the Victorian goldfields. Naylor travelled to Otago in 1861, at the time of the rush to Gabriel's Gulley, and was one of the first to set up a store at the Dunstan (Clyde) in 1862, bringing with him the goods to open a store, likely to have been a temporary structure as was common in gold mining settlements.
In 1870, he opened the schist structure with his name on the façade, which is now known as Oliver's Restaurant. An undated photograph shows the store in its early days with the name Benjamin Naylor either painted or in relief above the "wine & spirit merchant general storekeeper" that can still be seen on the building today. What appears to be a plaque with the date "A.D. 1870" is attached to the building between the two doorways. The rear of the store originally housed accommodation for Naylor and his family, and was used as such for twenty five years.
In the following years, starting with this initial store building, Naylor bought up the surrounding land titles until his property holdings encompassed the complete block between Sunderland , Naylor and Fache Streets, and the lane also known as Fache Street running alongside the north wall of the property, an area of approximately 1.25 acres.
Benjamin Naylor married in 1885, and he and his wife had a family of seven children. Naylor built a house for his family of then six children around 1895 (the date based on the store being used as living quarters for twenty five years). According to Galer what was locally called the "barn", but which the family called the annex was built at the same time, and was used as a storage area for hardware, with a fowl run at one end.
Other outbuildings were constructed as part of this complex, including the annex and walls that run to the rear of the main store, around the Fache and Naylor Street boundaries of the property. Naylor also ran a bakery, although this may have been off site. An undated nineteenth century photograph shows two men dressed in bakers' aprons and hats standing alongside two delivery men driving horses and carts, all standing in front of a small brick building with a chimney.
With the elegant single-storied residence beside the store on the corner of Sunderland and Naylor Streets, Naylor's buildings then incorporated a nearly whole block of Clyde's main street. One of these sons was still living in 1982, then aged 93, and was interviewed for Lois Galer's article.
Naylor was a significant local figure, and property owner, extending his holdings to include to farms. He was mayor of the Clyde borough for four years and also served on the borough council prior to the establishment of the Vincent County Council. He then served on this council also until 1902. After Naylor's death in 1905 his wife Mary inherited the property, and in 1909 sold up to James Horn of Bannockburn, also a general merchant.
During the ownership of Clyde orchardist Joseph Davidson the façade of the residence to Sunderland Street was altered, and rebuilt in bungalow style. This is an interesting element in the history of the building, showing the popularity of that style at the time.
The business continued as a general store and drapery until the late 1960s when it was purchased by a local veterinary surgeon.
In 1981 Benjamin Naylor's store became Oliver's Restaurant after it was purchased by prominent local identity Fleur Sullivan. Sullivan had earlier owned and restored the former Dunstan Hotel, now known as Dunstan House, located directly opposite Oliver's in Clyde's main street.
Sections 27 and 28 were acquired by Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge Limited in 1997. These blocks, while not directly associated with Benjamin Naylor's business, provide insight into the immediate context, particularly the adjacent businesses, and archaeological values are evident. The land was acquired by cordial manufacturer Canute Beck in 1873. After his death the land remained in the possession of his Executors until 1921. It was then transferred to tobacconist William Sutherland. After a number of local owners it was transferred to garage proprietor Jeffrey Tattersfield in 1947 (OT10/154). This may be the period from which the current garage dates.
The transformation to a restaurant involved alterations to the interior, removing mud plastering on the interior walls, and turning the ceiling space into a mezzanine lounge. The so-called stables (what the Naylor family called the Annexe) , were converted for use as accommodation. In the following years other outbuildings have also been converted for accommodation. This now includes the buildings called the soap factory, the former smokehouse, and the homestead itself. The former Annexe, a two-storied structure adjoining the hardware store, has been converted into living quarters for the current owner, Cameron Mouat.
The image of the goldfields with lone miners seeking their fortunes, leaving traces of their workings on the harsh Central Otago landscape either through their tailings or isolated cottages, or the later image of dredging on a huge scale that altered the landscape, is one which leaves out the wider social aspects of goldfields life. Benjamin Naylor's store, and associated buildings is an outstanding example of this background. Historian Alexander McClintock notes that the merchants, publicans and the like, in legitimate pursuit of their business "sought to fleece the reckless mining population whose undisciplined demand for the more doubtful commodities of commerce was sustained by an unrestricted purchasing power." He continues that "in Otago, as in California and Australia, it was the merchant, the storekeeper, the carrier and the itinerant entertainer, who reaped the golden harvest."
Naylor's on-going prosperity, illustrated through steady growth of his business and the associated buildings, also provides an insight into the steadying and settling down of the local economy, from the heady rush, through to the mining based on large amounts of capital and hired labour, to a more established settlement pattern. After Naylor's death and into the late twentieth century the quiet continued use of the premises as a store also marks the slow decline and stagnation of the local economy. And again in the 1980s and into the 1990s, and the boutique dining and accommodation associated with the rebirth of tourism and the development of the wine industry, Olivers (and Dunstan House, also owned by Fleur Sullivan) marked the beginning of that renaissance.
What was Benjamin Naylor's Complex currently operates as Olivers Restaurant and Lodge Accommodation, and is one of the most notable tourism ventures marking the modern tourism era in Central Otago. It draws together the history of the region, and remains outstandingly significant not only as a complex of buildings, which illustrate the importance of storekeepers in the nineteenth century goldfields Otago, but marks the beginning of the modern boutique tourism of the region.
Oliver's Restaurant and Lodge is a large group of some eight stone buildings and structures in a vernacular style which are spread over approximately half a hectare of land at the corner of Sunderland and Naylor streets in the centre of Clyde.
Principal among the group are:
the former store, which now houses the restaurant,
the house, converted to a guesthouse,
the annexe (former hardware store) known as the barn and stables,
other outbuildings now also used for accommodation
The restaurant and outbuildings are built of schist.
The surrounding walls are notable. Most of the wall surrounding the courtyard that frames the complex is built of schist. The remains of another wall still stand to the north east of the site. On the boundary with Naylor Street, at the southeast, the property is bordered by a stone wall built from materials salvaged from other buildings demolished in the area. On Fache Street the remains of a mud brick wall still stand.
Oliver's Restaurant (building A on plan, the former general store, Appendix 2) stands flush with the pavement on Sunderland Street and has a symmetrical façade with two double doors and two large windows. Inside the building, which has a broadly pitched gabled roof, the restaurant and a mezzanine bar are served by a modern kitchen at the rear of the former store. A doorway to the rear of the restaurant leads to toilet facilities (building B on plan), and through this is an internal grassed courtyard onto which the other buildings open.
The other substantial building in the complex is the former homestead, now known as the Lodge (building C on plan) and used for accommodation. This has a hipped roof and is also built of exposed schist, with the exception of the principal façade which was stuccoed when the house was given a bungalow style frontage in the late 1920s. The front door opens into a central hallway providing access to five bedrooms, with en suite bathrooms, and the original dining room (now a sitting room) which adjoins the kitchen at the rear of the house. A small cellar beneath the house accessed via a staircase set into an alcove off the dining room. Beyond the kitchen the former servants' quarters (building D on plan), with unplastered, exposed schist walls is now a breakfast room for lodge guests.
A large barn (building E on the plan) is built into the corner of Fache and Naylor Streets, with a single storied section running along Fache Street to the corner and a double storied section adjoining a lean-tos facing north, known as the stables (the former hardware store, building F on the plan). The stables have been converted into two accommodation rooms and an office, and the barn has also been converted into accommodation for the property's current owner.
Beyond a small gateway to Fache Street, a building now called the Soap Factory (building G in the plan; its original function is not specified) continues along the Fache Street boundary wall past the barn. This also contains two accommodation rooms and a storage room.
At the end of the storage room another gate opens onto Fache Street, and past this the Smokehouse (building H on the plan) is built on the Fache Street boundary, consisting of a large bedroom and en suite bathroom.
An old wall runs the length of the property, part of this forming the rear wall of the Smokehouse. An archway leads through this to an orchard courtyard (area I) with seating. This courtyard has a stone wall on the Fache Street boundary and a mud brick wall on Fache Street.
A former garage now housing a bar of this name (building J) forms a wall at the southwest of this courtyard. The Garage bar leads into a small café (building K), which also forms one of the entrances to Oliver's, and on the north of the café there is another small courtyard area (area L) on the corner of Sunderland and Fache Streets.
General Store (now restaurant, Building A), Homestead & servant's quarters (now lodge & breakfast room Buildings C, D), Annexe (now known as barn and stables, currently accommodation, Buildings E, F), Soap factory (now accommodation, Building G), Smokehouse (now accommodation, Building H), Garage (now bar, Building J), Surrounding stone and mud brick walls. The alphabetical codes refer to plan in Appendix 2.
1869 - 1870
The principal façade of the house was rebuilt in the bungalow style and the two front rooms and hallway altered accordingly.
Former store: concrete floor topped with bricks put in, internal walls were stripped of their timber lining, and the original mud plaster on the façade was largely removed.
A staircase was erected in the restaurant, providing access to a mezzanine created when half the building's false ceiling was removed.
Free standing fire built, french doors were installed in the east wall
Conservatory on the west side of the house has been converted to accommodate an en suite bathroom and on the east side of the same building the windows have been pushed out to form two en suites in the space behind them.
A wall in the former servants' quarters has also been removed to create a breakfast room behind the kitchen and the lean-tos on the west side of the barn have been enclosed to create accommodation rooms.
Further accommodation rooms have been created in the area now known as the soap factory, and in the former smokehouse. The former barn, a two storied structure, has also been converted for accommodation.
Sometime after Sept Walnut tree was blown over in galeforce winds and damaged the roof
April 2006 Dept of Labour closed upstairs section of restaurant because of unsafe stair.
Renovation works commence
Local schist, mud, timber and corrugated iron.
Public NZAA Number
9th December 2005
Report Written By
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1905
Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 4 Otago and Southland, Cyclopedia Company, Christchurch, 1905
R. Gilkison, Early Days in Central Otago Whitcoulls, Christchurch, 1978
A McClintock, The History of Otago, Otago Centennial Publications, Dunedin, 1949
J. McCraw, Gold on the Dunstan, Square One Press, Dunedin, 2003
B. Veitch, Clyde on the Dunstan, John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1976
A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Southern 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.