St Aidan’s Anglican Church (Former) in Alfredton, Tararua district, was designed in 1901 by the prominent architects Frederick de Jersey Clere and John Sydney Swan. It is one of the remaining buildings from the early European settlement there. Originally named and known as Moroa, Alfredton was formed in 1868, and was part of the Small Farms Association conceived by Joseph Masters and other philanthropic members of the early settlement scheme. The Wairarapa and Tararua regions were one of the first areas in New Zealand extensively settled by Europeans for farming purposes. The area was well inured with Christianity and Anglicanism, therefore, as early as 1869 plans were afoot for the construction of a church in Alfredton. Described as a ‘scattered’ community in 1901 when the Reverend John Walker first wrote to Clere and Swan for the designs for the church, this remains true of Alfredton today. The church remains little changed from when it was first built, however there were alterations and additions to the church during its early years. The most prominent of these was the erection of the belfry and chancel as a memorial to a local member of the community in 1904. A later addition was the Stone-Wigg memorial stained glass windows. With St Aidan’s Anglican Church one of the final churches designed by the architects in their partnership, it has the hallmarks of a de Jersey Clere-Swan collaboration, and a small architectural oddity in the form of the small door cut in the porch for coffins to pass through as it was too small otherwise for them to leave the church. As part of a small farming community, St Aidan’s Anglican Church (Former) at Alfredton has been a central focus of the town for over a century, and is an important part of the history of Alfredton and its development. Its construction is significant because it shows the determination of settlers to remain permanently in an inhospitable area. It also demonstrates the spread of the Anglican faith in the Tararua region. Small rural churches such as St Aidan’s Anglican Church (Former) have significance as heritage landmarks, and the church remains one of the only historic buildings in Alfredton. The church is also a representation of the growth of population in the area surrounding Alfredton, and the desires of an early population to practice their faith in a church building as opposed to the earlier, somewhat haphazard ways in which they had done before. St Aidan’s Anglican Church (Former) also has local significance because of the commemorative elements within the church which honour families of the community. St Aidan’s church therefore has considerable potential to provide knowledge of the history of a small rural community at the turn of the twentieth century. St Aidan’s Anglican Church (Former) is a standing representation of early European settlement in an area that was never well populated.
List Entry Information
Detailed List Entry
List Entry Status
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
6th June 2011
Date of Effect
6th June 2011
Horizons (Manawatū-Whanganui) Region
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Pt Moroa Block (RT WN116/204), Wellington Land District and the building known as St Aidan's Anglican Church (Former) thereon, and its fittings and fixtures and the following chattels: ceremonial trowel, font. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).
Pt Moroa Blk (RT WN116/204), Wellington Land District
When travelling east from Eketahuna, follow Alfredton Road until the junction with Route 52.