Ashleigh Court

112-122 Riddiford Street and 1 Rintoul Street, Newtown, WELLINGTON

Quick links:

From the time of its conception in the early-twentieth century, Ashleigh Court in Newtown, Wellington has embodied optimism and grand ambition, indivisible from its surrounding community. The building is aesthetically, architecturally, and historically significant. It was designed to have maximum impact on a high-profile triangular site that dated back to Wellington’s earliest plan, and was conceived during the suburb of Newtown’s heady days of rapid and substantial expansion in the decades around the turn-of-the-twentieth century. Located within a notably uniform and unbroken precinct of two-story, timber, commercial buildings, the three-story masonry building housing ground-level stores and a hotel far outstripped its neighbours in size, materials, and architectural articulation. While its admirable effects as a design endure, its heritage significance has been heightened with the widespread loss of Victorian and Edwardian building, particularly masonry hotels, throughout Wellington. Ashleigh Court was the boldest and most elaborate building devised by builder-developers John Thomas Hawthorn and Colin Campbell Crump, a material representation of their confidence in the burgeoning suburb then booming from the advent of the tramline. Although presently unknown, the architect or designer was without question a skilled practitioner. As completed in 1908, the masonry wedge with its continuous façade along two street fronts featuring superbly executed plaster decoration could only impress. Its excellence in design resulted from an enlightened merger of architecture and siting within the community’s otherwise uniform commercial streetscape. The outcome was a building so successful and embodying such great aesthetic value that it has come to represent the community in which it is located. The hotel initially struggled, possibly because it was completed in the year that Newtown voted in favour of banning licensed establishments within its borders. However, after being used as a hostel for returning soldiers during World War One, it remained a hotel and/or boarding house until 1990. Since then, the upper levels’ residential purpose has continued in the form of four apartments; the ground-level stores have had a sustained history of use for retail and commerce. Except for the loss of the segment of its verandah along the Rintoul Street elevation, the building’s exterior remains in fine condition and it continues to be Newtown’s principal architectural and aesthetic anchor.

Ashleigh Court, Newtown, Wellington | Miranda Williamson | 01/02/2021 | Heritage New Zealand
Ashleigh Court, Newtown, Wellington | Miranda Williamson | 01/02/2021 | Heritage New Zealand
Ashleigh Court, Newtown, Wellington. Looking south from Riddeford/Rintoul intersection | James A Jacobs | 15/06/2017 | Heritage New Zealand
Ashleigh Court, Newtown, Wellington. Building detail, plaster decoration | James A Jacobs | 15/06/2017 | Heritage New Zealand



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 1


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

3rd March 1982

Date of Effect

3rd March 2018

City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 86593 (RT SRS WN56B/74), and part Legal Road, Wellington Land District, and the building known as Ashleigh Court thereon, including its verandah posts on Riddiford Street. The two-storeyed timber building at 124-126 Riddiford Street comprising units 16 and 18 of SRS WN56B/74 is not included in the extent. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the List entry report for further information).

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 86593 (RT SRS WN56B/74), and Legal Road, Wellington Land District

Stay up to date with Heritage this month