Queen Mary Hospital (Former) and Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve Historic Area

Amuri Avenue and Jacks Pass Road, HANMER SPRINGS


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Area description: The area included in the registration is the historic heart of the former Queen Mary Hospital and the thermal pools complex at Hanmer Springs. The Hanmer Springs settlement is located at the north-eastern edge of the Hanmer plains, is 370 metres above sea level and is framed to the north by gradually rising mountains which provide a picturesque background. In 1860, 2,560 acres (1,072 hectares) of land encompassing the thermal pools complex was proclaimed a reserve by the Nelson Provincial Government. Facilities for visitors to the pools were added and upgraded regularly over the years and Queen Mary Hospital itself was established in 1916 within the reserve. The hospital buildings were initially grouped around the thermal pools area and extended beyond this within the original reserve to include a working farm. Two street frontages, Amuri Avenue and Jack's Pass Road, bound the proposed area to the east and north. On the west, a stream forms the boundary, and the southern boundary runs five metres south of the Soldiers Block. It extends across from the Amuri Avenue frontage to the western stream, running behind the Soldier's Block, across to include the Maintenance Office and the Nurses' Home with the southerly framing trees, and then turns to meet the stream. The boundaries for the proposed historic area were drawn to include those buildings which effectively encapsulate the history of the thermal pools, the Queen Mary Hospital and their park environs. The southern boundary has been altered slightly. Originally the boundary for the Hurunui Council's proposed zoning change for the area was used, because it aligned very closely to the NZHPT's objectives to recognise the heritage values of the place. Council proposes to zone the northern part of the Queen Mary site as an area of high amenity, with the southern section to be available for business and residential development. Submissions have indicated that using a "proposed" zoning division which may not come into effect is inappropriate, so a new boundary has been drawn to more specifically enclose the area, including the identified heritage features and providing sufficient buffer space beside the buildings. A map showing the boundaries of the proposed historic area is in Appendix 2. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA: Hanmer Springs' township is sited on the edge of a plateau area, adjacent to the foothills which rise to the Southern Alps. It altitude is 385 metres and it enjoys an alpine climate. The thermal pools are close to the rising hills but on fairly level ground which slopes gradually to the south. The land on which the Queen Mary Hospital was established alongside the pools has some minor undulations with a more noticeable dip behind the Rutherford Ward, where a minor water way defines the edge of the hospital site (outside the proposed historic area). On the western boundary a more substantial stream separates hospital land from the golf course. Buildings are located throughout the site so that each of the main hospital blocks is in a spacious setting with green surroundings. All are enhanced by the surrounding trees and views to the mountains. CURRENT PHYSICAL CONDITION: Lack of use is not good for any of the buildings in ownership by the Canterbury District Health Board, though they were well maintained when their care was the Board's responsibility. It will be beneficial if the future of the site can be decided soon. The condition of the Soldiers Ward, Chisholm Ward and the Nurses' Home is reasonable. The condition of the other buildings varies with the most concern over the two bath and massage blocks because of the presence of asbestos. On the pools site the Tea House was recently restored and the Gasometer was stabilised in 1992. Since the hospital closed, a reduced regime of gardening care has been followed but it has been sufficient to maintain the property in fair condition with lawns mowed and the garden plots attended to.

Queen Mary Hospital (Former) and Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve Historic Area | Sarah Gallagher | 20/01/2021 | Heritage New Zealand
Queen Mary Hospital (Former) and Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve Historic Area. Nurses Home. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com | PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite | 25/03/2018 | Phil Braithwaite
Queen Mary Hospital (Former) and Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve Historic Area. Gasometer constructed in 1899 | Pam Wilson | 01/03/2004 | Heriatge New Zealand
Queen Mary Hospital (Former) and Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve Historic Area. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com | PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite | 25/03/2018 | Phil Braithwaite



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Area


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

12th December 2004

Date of Effect

12th December 2004

City/District Council

Hurunui District


Canterbury Region

Extent of List Entry

The Historic Area comprises the northern portion of the former hospital site and thermal pools complex. The former hospital site contains four buildings of particular heritage significance: the Soldiers Block (1916), the Maintenance Office (1916), the Nurses Home (1926) and the Chisholm Ward (1926). Two former bath houses (Gymnasium [1929-30] and Fountain House [1943]) have had mixed uses and form part of the thermal pools complex [Gymnasium and Fountain House destroyed 2009]. Other notable structures include: the Gardeners Shed (c.1900); Maintenance Office (1916); Tea House (1904); Gasometer (1899); trees (with substantial plantings having occurred c.1890's being noted in 1914) and landscape within the Historic Area.

Legal description

Lot 2-3 DP 430432 (RT 518495), (NZ Gazette 2010, p 2643), Sec 77 Hanmer Town Area (RT CB21F/1490), (NZ Gazette 1990, p 4589), Lot 1 DP 426562 (RT 504568), (NZ Gazette 2010, p 2643), Reserve 4671, (NZ Gazette 1953, p 225), Lot 1 DP 63973 (RT CB38C/187), Canterbury Land District

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