Windsor Castle Hotel

144 Parnell Road, Auckland

  • Windsor Castle Hotel.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Martin Jones. Date: 29/10/2001.
  • Windsor Castle Hotel. c.1997. Image included in Field Record Form Collection.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand .
  • Windsor Castle Hotel, Parnell Auckland. Image courtesy of ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, ref. 435-B5-161. c.1960-1979 .
    Copyright: Auckland Libraries .

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7406 Date Entered 31st October 1997


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 10 DP 2339 & Lot 1 DP 2340


The Windsor Castle is an early hotel in the inner Auckland suburb of Parnell. Once believed to be a late nineteenth-century structure, a detailed examination of the building in 1997 showed that much of it belonged to the 1850s and that it had subsequently been remodelled. Inns were important places of recreation and gathering in the earliest years of colonisation, and provided accommodation for a largely transient population. The discovery that the Windsor Castle dated from this period led to a reappraisal of its significance and helped to save the building from possible demolition.

The building is located on the site of an earlier inn, and was used as a pub and accommodation house for nearly 150 years. Originally a two-storeyed brick structure with a hipped roof and porch, the building lay on a major road leading south from colonial Auckland, in the nearby settlement at Parnell. Its symmetrical Georgian style and domestic character was typical of early colonial inns, providing small bar rooms on its ground floor and accommodation above. The hotel was remodelled in the 1880s, when the architect, R. MacKay Fripp, was commissioned to create a large Victorian corner pub of urban type. An elaborate Italianate facade was added, which still dominates its appearance. Surviving the general decline of the public house in the early twentieth century, the building has since been converted into a restaurant. This has substantially affected its ground floor area but left much of its upper levels intact.

The Windsor Castle is significant as one of the earliest surviving hotels in current-day Auckland and is among the oldest remaining brick buildings in the region. Its fabric is of value for demonstrating early pioneer construction techniques and materials, and the organisation of hotel accommodation. Its design demonstrates the importance of hotels in early colonial society, as well as their changing role and appearance in the later nineteenth century. The building has connections with the brewing trade, including companies such as Ehrenfried's and Speights, and was an important place of working-class recreation through much of the twentieth century. One of its architects, R. MacKay Fripp, made important contributions to the development of the Arts and Crafts movement in Canada, as well as the Californian bungalow in New Zealand and the USA. The building makes a strong contribution to the streetscape of Parnell, and adds considerably to the historic character of the suburb.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Fripp, R. MacKay

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Notable Features

Registration covers the main building, its fixtures and finishes, and all land and other structures within the title boundary. It also includes recent modifications. The building lies on the site of an earlier, 1840s hotel, and is associated with other nineteenth-century features, including a brick-lined well.

Construction Dates

1847 -
Site of earlier buildings, including inn

1850 -
Major fire

Original Construction
1850 -
Construction of Windsor Castle Hotel

1851 - 1877
South end extended

Remodelling, including main façade

1908 - 1914
Eastern additions (later demolished)

1924 -
Internal modifications

1967 - 1968
Major remodelling of interior, with additions to south and east

1999 - 2000
Further refurbishment and alterations

Completion Date

21st August 2001

Report Written By

Martin Jones

Information Sources

Best, 2000

Simon Best, 'The Windsor Castle Hotel, Parnell, Auckland: Archaeological Testing and Monitoring', Auckland, 2000 (copy held by NZHPT, Auckland)

Conservation Plan

Conservation Plan

Bruce Petry and Di Stewart, 'Windsor Castle Hotel, Parnell, Auckland: A Conservation Plan', Auckland, 1998 (copy held by NZHPT, Auckland)

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.