2 Whisby Road, Cashmere, CHRISTCHURCH

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This timber cottage was built between 1898 and 1900 and was designed for Professor John Macmillan Brown (1845-1935). Macmillan Brown was the first professor of English and Classics at Canterbury College (later the University of Canterbury), and one of the three founding professors. From 1916 to 1923 he was the vice-chancellor of the University of New Zealand, and chancellor from 1923 until his death in 1935. He married one of his former students, the first woman to graduate with honours in the British Empire, Helen Connon. Connon was headmistress of Christchurch Girls' High School for eleven years. When land in the Port Hills was subdivided, Macmillan Brown bought just over nine acres so that his family could spend winters in the hills, rather than on the damp Christchurch flat. The Macmillan Browns asked their brother-in-law, Samuel Hurst Seager, to design the house for their new property. (Seager had married Helen's sister Hester in 1887.) The cottage Seager designed was a forerunner of a group of buildings he later produced on Clifton Terrace in Sumner and an early demonstration of his interest in the development of an indigenous architecture. The Macmillan Brown house has an unusual method of construction, similar to the construction of a log cabin; single skin walls are formed from interlocking 2" x 4" (approximately 50mm x100m) boards which project at each corner to form a buttress-like effect. It was sited to receive the benefits of fresh air and light, and inside the unlined timber boards give a relaxed feel to the house. This house is significant as an early cottage designed by Seager which demonstrates his concern to develop a New Zealand architecture. It has been identified as one of the earliest bungalows in New Zealand and represents a significant point in Seager's architectural career. The Macmillan Brown cottage is also important for its innovative construction. Historically it is significant for its association with the Macmillan Browns.

House | Melanie Lovell-Smith | 01/02/2002 | NZ Historic Places Trust
| Melanie Lovell-Smith | 01/02/2002 | NZ Historic Places Trust



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 1


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

4th April 1985

Date of Effect

4th April 1985

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 30 Pt 1 DP 2668 Pt Lot 1 DP 8230

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