3 Iona Street, Lawrence

  • Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7121 Date Entered 17th December 1993


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Secs 5-6 Blk IX Town of Lawrence (CT OT46/220), Otago Land District, and the buildings associated with Whareview thereon.

City/District Council

Clutha District


Otago Region

Legal description

Secs 5-6 Blk IX Town of Lawrence (CT OT46/220), Otago Land District


Whareview, a substantial house built in timber and brick in two stages, stands as a reminder of the significance of Lawrence as the county seat in the nineteenth century. The house has historical and architectural significance, and is associated with several prominent Lawrence citizens.

The land was first granted to George Liston and Arthur Henderson in 1867. The first title was issued to Timaru contractor Alexander Humphrey (d. 1902) in 1879. It does not appear that Henderson or Liston built on the land, as the sections are advertised for sale at the end of 1870, ‘securely fenced and sown in oats, and planted with fruit trees and a choice selection of trees and shrubs.’ Though not shown on the title, Francis Nicoll owned the land in the 1870s, applying for it to be brought into the land transfer system in 1879. He built a residence on an adjoining section in 1877. It is possible that Humphrey may have built a house on the section, though he was to leave the district around 1879.

Engineer William Smaill (1840-1905) bought the property in 1880. Scottish-born Smaill trained as a civil engineer and was appointed District Engineer of Roads for the Otago Provincial Government in 1862. He became Tuapeka County engineer in 1878, retiring in 1885 and taking up land in Kaitangata. It is possible that Smaill added to the existing dwelling house and erected the outbuildings, as he advertised for tender for additions and erection of Stable and Outhouses just before the title of the land was transferred to him. Smaill sold the property in 1885. The advertisement describes Smaill’s half acre sections, ‘with a substantially-built seven-roomed Dwelling and Out-offices, consisting of Coach House and Stable, Coal and Wash Houses, all in the best order’ and well stocked with fruit trees and flowers. He also sold two other sections on the same block.

Smaill’s replacement as Tuapeka County engineer, John Edie (1856-1928), bought the property. Edie was County Engineer from 1885-1888 (when the position was disestablished for financial reasons), and again from 1903-1925.

Jane Duthie Crooke bought the property in 1892. In 1890, Milton-born Jane married barrister and solicitor Alfred Crooke who set up practice in Lawrence. Crooke later served as stipendiary magistrate in Greymouth, moving to New Plymouth in 1912. After leaving Lawrence, Jane sold the property to brewer James Kerr Simpson in 1919. Simpson owned the property until his death in 1937.

Simpson was a significant figure in Lawrence’s history as a businessman and local politician. With Benjamin Hart, Simpson ran the Black Horse Brewery (List Entry No. 9598, Category 1) one of the most well-known in Otago and Southland. The brewery closed in 1923 after it was bought out by New Zealand Breweries. Local historian Daphne Lemon records that the house was built for Simpson by builder F.A. Miller. She states that the double storey (brick) section was the original house and the single storey timber wing was added later. There is some doubt about this assertion – it would be more usual for an early residence to be timber and the later brick, and there was a house on site by 1885 and probably not the two storey brick residence as these were features that would usually have been mentioned in a sale advertisement. The house has had several subsequent changes of ownership, and in 2015, remains a private residence.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Whareview has been associated with permanent settlement of Lawrence from the earlier years of the Otago goldfield through to the more permanent settlement of the twentieth century town.


This house makes a strong visual impact on a large part of Lawrence.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Miller, Frederick Augustus

Miller was a builder active in Lawrence between c.1893 and 1910. Miller (1869-1911) learnt is trade from father Samuel (1830-1910). Other surviving examples of his works include his own residence ‘The Ark’ built in 1890.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


Not known.


Whareview is a conglomeration of styles. The original simple wooden cottage has a deep verandah and a low pitched corrugated iron roof. The brick extension added in 1910 uses traditional elements and materials in a non-traditional way. The railings and brackets are turned. The barge boards have similar details. Inside the hallway has been heavily plastered creating curved cornices. There is a cantilevered verandah from the second floor. Access to the verandah is through large double-hung windows and small doors. The upstairs rooms have dormer windows facing east and there is another dormer above the stairs, facing west.


The exterior is still in original condition. The interior has been substantially altered, including the lowering of ceilings and the removal of some interior walls. The bricks have been exposed in the kitchen and dining area and a clear varnish has been applied. An original door into the kitchen has been blocked off and a pantry installed. Windows have been placed in interior walls in the living and study areas.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
Original wooden cottage built

1910 -
Two storeyed brick extension

Additional building added to site
1880 -
Possible construction of stable, outhouses, and addition to residence

Construction Details

The original cottage of framed timber construction; wide wooden weatherboard with quoins; the roof of corrugated galvanised iron. The later extension is of brick with corrugated galvanised iron roof.

Completion Date

12th January 2016

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Lemon, 1979

Daphne Lemon, Stars in Orion, Tuapeka then and now, John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1979

Mayhew, 1949

W.R. Mayhew, Tuapeka: The Land and Its People: A Social History of the Borough of Lawrence and its Surrounding Districts, Otago Centennial Historical Publications, Dunedin, 1949

Marks, 1977

R Marks. Hammer & Tap, Tuapeka County Council, Lawrence, 1977

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes text from the original Proposal for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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 Office of Heritage New Zealand