St David's Church

Coronation Street, Norsewood

  • St David's Church. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shellie Evans. Taken By: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Date: 15/05/2007.
  • St David's Church. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shellie Evans . Taken By: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Date: 15/05/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7224 Date Entered 3rd March 1995

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Tararua District

Region

Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

sec 5 Blk 5 Norsewood village, Blk V Takapau SD

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

Historical:

Norsewood was a small Scandinavian settlement established in the 1870's. The Presbyterian church was built by it's congregation in 1905. In the 1960's the main highway was shifted resulting in the town's decline and a subsequent reduction in the number of churchgoers.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

Aesthetic:

The design of St David's Church, Norsewood, presents a clear and complete interpretation of the principles of the Gothic Revival.

Architectural:

The design of St David's Church is a well resolved essay in Norman/Middle Pointed Gothic Revival, employing New Zealand vernacular techniques in its construction.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

Cultural/Social:

The Presbyterian Church is the only remaining church in Norsewood. The small rural town once had an Anglican, a Catholic and a Methodist church. The church and adjoining church hall are now the major venue for community gatherings and activities. The church is well maintained and cared for by the community.

Spiritual:

St David's church has been the centre of Presbyterian worship in Norsewood for nearly ninety years serving several generations.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:

St David's Church is representative of the development of organised religion in New Zealand, in this case a small rural Presbyterian church now serving an ecumenical community. This present multi-purpose use is historically interesting because it represents a reaction to the twin declines of rural communities and organised religion in New Zealand in the late twentieth century. .

e) The community association with, or public esteem for, the place:

St David's would have always been significant to Presbyterians in the district. Due to the closure of churches of other denominations, its role in the life of the community has become more significant. It is used twice a month for Sunday services and occasionally for ecumenical services. The adjoining church hall plays an integral role in the small township and is used for community gatherings and activities such as the local playcentre. St David's has become a symbol of church and district unity.

f) The potential of the place for public education:

Small rural churches such as St David's have significance as a heritage landmark within the area displaying interpretive materials such as rolls of honour and plaques commemorating members of the community.

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

Dannevirke architects, Finch & Lamb, designed St David's church in 1905. This plain, simple church is Norman in design with firm adherence to Gothic Revival principles.

The exterior of St David's is clad in rusticated weatherboarding with simple diagonal bracing acting as buttresses, and is a good example of this technique which was used by other architects. The nave windows, which consist of leaded lights using coloured glass in a diamond shaped pattern, and their exterior square headed frames, are a vernacular tradition in New Zealand church building.

The main entrance window consists of four lancet windows arranged within a single Gothic pointed head, architrave. The otherwise plain facade of the main entry porch features a free interpretation of Gothic elements with a row of fretted quatrefoils forming a frieze surmounted by a pair of shallow trefoil heads flanking the inner apex of the porch gable. The stained timber interior of the church has an Arched Brace roof, wooden pews, an ornate pulpit and organ.

The church, churchyard with fence and gate, belltower and the community hall (1960 addition at the rear of the church which does not interfere with the integrity of the main building) form an attractive venue for community activities.

Conclusion:

St David's Presbyterian Church, Norsewood is recommended for registration as a Category II as a place of historical and cultural heritage significance and value. This simple timber Gothic church is the only remaining church left in the small township and has therefore become a focal point for community life and worship.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1905 -

Information Sources

Dannevirke Advocate

Dannevirke Advocate

June 12 1905

Evening News

Evening News (Dannevirke)

June 14 1980. pg. 3

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central 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.