2 Lowe Road And Raynes Road, Rukuhia

  • Knightstone, Rukuhia, Waikato.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Ann McEwan. Date: 29/06/2006.
  • Knightstone, Rukuhia, Waikato.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Ann McEwan. Date: 29/06/2006.
  • Knightstone, Rukuhia, Waikato.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Ann McEwan. Date: 29/06/2006.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7694 Date Entered 11th May 2007


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes the land comprised in CT (SA73A/747); the house, its fittings and fixtures thereon, including the adjoining swimming pool and the garage.

City/District Council

Waipa District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DPS 31326 and Sec 2, 6 SO 61557 (CT SA73A/747), South Auckland Land District.


Knightstone was owned by members of the Raynes family continuously from the time it was built in c.1912 until 2006. The house is associated with the early European settlement of the Waikato, the establishment of dairying in the region, and the rising fortunes of a settler family after whom a local road is named. The original dwelling was designed by an important early 20th century Hamilton architect and its concrete construction is noteworthy given its date. Knightstone's extension over the years reflects the changing needs and circumstances of a family with a long association with farming in the area.

James Raynes was a Private in the 4th Waikato Regiment and he was granted a land allocation in recognition of his militia service in 1866. Typically, Raynes received a one-acre section in Hamilton and a rural parcel of land to the south of the township. He married Anne James in Hamilton in 1868. The couple were to own six blocks of land in the vicinity of what is now known as Raynes Road, including, from 1877, the site on which Knightstone stands. Their farm holding was named after Anne Raynes' family home in Tenby, Wales. The Raynes were early settlers in the Rukuhia district and their home was the social hub of the community in the early twentieth century. Nancy Raynes, the last family member to live at Knightstone, is the author of a local history on the area.

Fred C Daniell, the designer, is a noted early 20th century Hamilton architect and Knightstone bears many of the hallmarks of his style. Although not an architect of the first rank, Daniell is notable for his comparatively early use of reinforced concrete construction and the contribution he made to the streetscape of Hamilton in the design of commercial, ecclesiastical and residential buildings. While he was an early adopter of concrete construction he was more conservative stylistically, and his house designs typically followed the fashion of the day for villas and bungalows. Knightstone is an interesting hybrid of the two. Although its rather confusing floor plan is unorthodox, the house clearly illustrates the pragmatic design decisions made by a single family over their 94-year occupancy.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Knightstone stands on land owned by the Raynes family from 1877 until 2006. The house was not immediately occupied by family members when it was built in 1912, but from 1919 until 2006 it was home to two generations of notable local landowners.

Local historical significance is attached to the house given the duration of ownership and residence by the Raynes family. James Raynes lived to see the concrete house built on one of several holdings of land he was to acquire in the district following his military service in the Waikato. He and his son Jim (John James) made a useful contribution to local agriculture, successfully meeting the challenges of farming stock and pasture on the Rukuhia Swamp.

Community dances were held in the loft of the house after the local hall burnt down. Five tennis courts laid out in the grounds provided facilities for casual games and for the local tennis club. The swimming pool was also a community asset.

The social prominence of the family in the early 20th century and the contribution made to local history by Nancy Raynes' 1981 book further enhance the significance of the house.

The concrete construction of the house, which is typical of the architect FC Daniell's oeuvre, is its most notable architectural feature. Daniell is cited in Geoffrey Thornton's survey of concrete construction in New Zealand for his early adoption of the material and the architect is also significant for his contribution to the streetscape of Hamilton, buildings in other Waikato and Wairarapa towns, and buildings associated with the dairy industry.

Knightstone has local significance for its association with the early European settlement of the Rukuhia district. Today it serves as a reminder of the nineteenth-early twentieth century rural development of an area which is increasingly becoming a suburban enclave of Hamilton city.

(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history

Knightstone is representative of the modest success enjoyed by some members of the militia who took up farming on land confiscated from Waikato iwi after the cessation of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. The farm's success is reflected in the house itself, with the replacement of a much smaller, simpler wooden cottage with a modest house of permanent materials and its later expansion into a large farm house, as well as reflected in the associated land. Knightstone farming practices reflect landscape changes typical in the Waikato: swamp drainage, bush clearance, the establishment of pasture for sheep and dairy cattle, road formation, bridging of streams, fencing, and planting of hedgerows and exotic trees.

The building of additional amenities such as the garage illustrates changes in transport, and the tennis courts and swimming pool illustrate a new emphasis on recreation in rural life.

(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history

James Raynes fought with the 4th Waikato Regiment in the New Zealand Wars and was initially granted a militia section, at a nearby site, in 1866. His son John James (Jim) continued to develop James Raynes' properties into a profitable business during the earlier 20th century.

Nancy Raynes has made a contribution to New Zealand historiography as a local historian.

The Raynes family were a well-known part of the Rukuhia community for over 130 years, contributing to local events.

As an extant example of one of FC Daniell's designs, Knightstone is a resource for architectural and historic research in association with the large body of FC Daniell's plans, specifications, other archives and objects existing in the collections of the Waikato Museum of Art & History, Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Awamutu Museum, Wairarapa Archive and the Daniell family.

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

Knightstone is illustrative of the late-19th to 20th century fortunes of European settlers in the Waikato.

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

For many decades Knightstone was a major factor in the social and community life at Rukuhia and many older members of the wider community will have strong associations with the place. The Waikato Branch Committee, NZHPA, have been aware of the value of this house for many years and nominated it for registration because of its community associations.

The community met at Knightstone for dances, swimming and tennis for many years.

(f) The potential of the place for public education

A large body of FC Daniell's plans, specifications, other archives and objects exist in the collections of the Waikato Museum of Art & History, Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Awamutu Museum, Wairarapa Archive and the Daniell family. As an extant example of one of his designs, Knightstone is a resource for architectural and historic research.

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

The reinforced concrete construction used by Hamilton architect FC Daniell is the property's most notable technical feature. Daniell worked without the aid of a structural engineer. Although reinforced concrete (ferro-cement) was more widely-used by the initial years of the 20th century, particularly for bridges, larger buildings and industrial sites, its use for houses remained unusual.

(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape

Knightstone stands within a landscape setting that has recently undergone significant transformation, from dairy and cattle grazing farmland to premium residential subdivision. The underlying settler history of the area may be deduced from the age and situation of Knightstone. Both Knightstone and the nearby nineteenth century dwelling Glenhope [Airport Road, Rukuhia, Register # 4442], which dates from c.1873, make an important contribution to a cultural landscape that was developed by soldier-farmers in the 1860s and 1870s and is today home to well-to-do Hamilton commuters.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Daniell, Frederick Charles

Fred C Daniell was born in Wales and came to New Zealand as an infant in 1879. His father Charles operated a large timber mill in Masterton and after being educated at Wellington College Daniell joined the family business. At various stages he managed another sawmill in competition with his father, was involved in the survey of the Napier-Taupo Road and was a corporal in the Masterton Mounted Rifles. Of the eight children born to FC Daniell and his wife Helen Gordon-Donald, Trevor Hamilton Daniell also became an architect.

In 1908 Daniell established a practice in Hamilton, where he opened an office in the Waikato Times Building. At various times he was in partnerships with local architects J. Anderson (1912), T.S. Cray (1914-17) and T.Y. Lusk (1920-26), although the specifications for Knightstone are under his name alone. Daniell became a member of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1915 and, having helped to establish the South Auckland Branch of the NZIA, became its first secretary in1923-7.

Among the many buildings he designed in Hamilton, Daniell is best known for Wesley Chambers (1924, NZHPT Category II Register # 5301), St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (1914) and his own home 'Ingleholm' at 11 O'Neill Street (1911), both in Hamilton East. The 1911-12 Parr house (now the YWCA) on Pembroke Street in Hamilton West is very similar to Knightstone in its current form, suggesting that Daniell was also responsible for the design of the latter's 1919 addition. His prolific output included designs for residences as well as shops, commercial premises, churches, farm buildings and dairy industry buildings.

Winston Daniell recalled in a 2002 interview that his father 'was always keen on concrete'. In his survey of early concrete construction in New Zealand, Geoffrey Thornton lists Daniell amongst those New Zealand architects using Camerated Concrete in the early twentieth century and he goes on to observe that 'no doubt FC Daniell is typical of a number of lesser known architects of the first two decades of the twentieth century who worked quietly in the design of reinforced concrete without the services of a structural engineer'. Thornton also records that Daniell designed a number of dairy factories for the NZ Co-operative Dairy Company, including the 1917 Matangi Dairy Factory just outside Hamilton (Category II, Reg # 4935, see also reg #4302 former Matangi Dairy Co. house).

Despite the evident success of his Hamilton practice in the 1910s and early 1920s, Daniell's financial situation became increasingly precarious. A farm at Te Mawhai, south-west of Te Awamutu, was at first a secondary occupation but in the mid-1920s the family moved out to the farm and Daniell effectively stopped practicing architecture. In 1935 he returned to Masterton and thereupon resumed his architectural career. Here Daniell was also involved in community and local body affairs, serving on the boards of Wairarapa College and the Electricity and Catchment Boards. Daniell's Masterton practice was continued by his son Trevor after his death in 1953.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The property is bordered to the south and west by the intersection of Raynes and Lowe Roads. Realignment of Raynes Road by the Waipa District Council in 2000 resulted in the addition of two small parcels of land to the property, being Section 2 and Section 6 Survey Office Plan 61557.

The house is centrally located on the property and is surrounded by new homes on generous sections, on what were originally Knightstone's farm paddocks. Where once Rukuhia was a small rural settlement centred upon its railway station, post office and district hall, it is now just minutes away by car from the southern fringe of Hamilton city.

Knightstone's garden setting and mature trees indicate much longer residence than the adjacent houses, which generally have the appearance of transplanted suburban houses in a semi-rural setting. The house is approached via a circular drive bordered by a somewhat overgrown garden, including a forty-year-old magnolia and a walnut tree still producing fruit.

Across Lowe Road from 'Knightstone', the section described as Pt. Lot 91 and 92 was transferred to Joseph Archibald Vernon Raynes on 30 May 1936. On this site stands a single storey, stuccoed Art Deco house, built to the design of Hamilton architect Terence Vautier. At the crossroads of Lowe and Raynes roads therefore stand three houses, the 1903 villa, 1911/1919 bungalow and late 1930s Art Deco design house, on land at one time all owned by the same family.


The house as it stands today is the result of a three-stage construction programme. The original concrete villa had a rectangular floor plan and bungalow detailing on the front elevation. It was a single storey but with a large loft lit by a window in each gable end. With the 1919 addition of a second living room and a sole-purpose dining room the verandah was extended around to the side of the house and remodelled to take on an arcuated appearance. Whereas the original dwelling had timber detailing at the entry, the 1919 work included the extension of the roughcast exterior treatment to include the verandah posts and solid balustrade.

Today Knightstone is a one-and-a-half storey bungalow with an open balcony on the first floor and a single gabled dormer window set into the cross-gable roof on the principal elevation. In keeping with the simplified California bungalow styling, the windows are generally of the casement type with multi-pane fanlights above. Round-headed windows light the loft that runs the entire length of the 1912 stage. At the apex of the 1919 cross-gable is a tank stand that has been modified to serve as a lookout from the house. A lean-to roof covers the 1936 sunroom addition on the western side of the house. French doors open off the 1919 living room onto the return veranda and all exterior doors have glass panel inserts.

At the rear of the house is an external staircase giving access to the first floor flat, beneath which is a small garden shed with 6-pane window. The rear entrance porch was once open but is now enclosed with glass French doors, side and fanlights. The house's overhanging eaves have exposed rafter ends and plain bargeboards.

As the specifications for the house state that Coates Ltd bricks were to be used for the chimneys, the date of the house's construction is suggested by the sale of Isaac Coates' brick works at Huntly in c.1911 and confirmed by Nancy Raynes' family history. A single garage, with wooden doors and Art Deco circular motifs is located behind the house to the north. The garage dates from the same year as the sunroom and swimming pool which were added to the west side of the house. The pool is unusual in that it directly abuts the house on two sides.


As it was first built, the house layout was essentially that of a villa design comprising a central hallway with three bedrooms on one side of the house and a sitting room and kitchen/living room on the other. A bathroom was, and still is, located at the end of the hallway, opening off it and off the rear entrance porch.

A coal range stood in the living room/kitchen and backed on to a fireplace, since removed, in the formal sitting room. A small scullery to the rear of the living room now houses the kitchen.

The first extension consisted of a dining and formal sitting room on the eastern side of the house. At this time the sitting room off the main hallway became another bedroom. A window in the living/kitchen was cut down to provide a doorway between the addition and the main body of the house. A sliding door screens this opening and French doors separate the dining and new sitting room.

A second extension in 1936 involved the construction of a sun-room on the western side of the house with external and internal staircase access, the latter from the middle bedroom. A second bathroom opens off the passageway leading to the sunroom, along with a very small bedroom, which now overlooks the pool. A large single garage beneath the sunroom can be accessed from a panelled cupboard adjacent to the sunroom stairs (see photographs provided). The enclosed veranda at the rear of the house includes a trap-door in the ceiling that provides entry to the loft that was used for storing grain and later for community dances after the Rukuhia Hall burnt down in 1923.

The last major work undertaken on the house took place in the late 1940s, with the installation of a one-bedroom flat in the roof space over the 1919 section. The flat is lit by windows to the north and an enclosed balcony on the east, although the kitchen has only a skylight to provide natural lighting. Three rooms, for dining, sitting and sleeping open off one another, and are flanked by a bathroom and kitchen. Access to the loft is possible from both the flat and via an internal staircase which can be seen to rise through the 1919 sitting room.

Notable Features

House [c.1911-12]

Swimming pool and garage [both 1936]

Construction Dates

1911 -

Original Construction
1911 - 1912

1919 -
House extended with addition of living and dining rooms

1936 -
Sunroom and swimming pool added; detached garage constructed

First floor contained flat installed.

Construction Details

Concrete (walls and foundations, former reinforced), corrugated iron (roof), totara & rimu (specifications generally specify rimu for interior woodwork, totara for exterior woodwork), brick (chimneys).

The specification was for Wilson's Star Brand cement with local gravel. Reinforcements were to be No.4 gauge crimped steel wire spaced at 18-inch intervals both horizontally and vertically.

Completion Date

11th January 2007

Report Written By

L. Williams; A. McEwen; S. Gresson

Information Sources

Barbar, 1978

L.H. Barber, The View from Pirongia: the history of Waipa County,Te Awamutu,1978

Coates, 1962

Isaac Coates On Record: Being the Reminiscence of Isaac Coates 1840-1932, Hamilton, 1962

Colmer, 2000

Moana Colmer 'FC Daniell' in 13 Hamilton Architects, ARTH 331 Research Project, University of Waikato, 2000

Hamilton City Council

Hamilton City Council

Oral History Archive OH 338, MS 0156 & MS 0055, Hamilton City Library

Kellaway, 2003

Laura Kellaway - 'Architect's profile and heritage assessment of Knightstone', June 2003

Raynes, 1986

Nancy Raynes South of West Hamilton: A History of the Early European Settlement of the Rukuhia Settlement 1864-1914, Hamilton, 1986

Rukuhia School, 1982

Rukuhia School 1907-1982, 75th Jubilee Souvenir Booklet, Rukuhia, 1982

Shaw, 1991 (3)

Peter Shaw, New Zealand Architecture: From Polynesian Beginnings to 1990, Auckland, 1991

Thornton, 1996

Geoffrey Thornton, Cast in Concrete: Concrete Construction in New Zealand 1850-1939, Auckland, 1996

Other Information

A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Lower Northern Area 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.