Hope Fruit Stores (Former)

194-196 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

  • Hope Fruit Stores (Former), Nelson.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Deirdre Byrne. Date: 14/06/2017.
  • Hope Fruit Stores (Former), Nelson.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Deirdre Byrne. Date: 14/06/2017.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1619 Date Entered 25th November 1982 Date of Effect 25th November 1982


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt Lots 2-3 DP 14 (RT NL9C/1084), Nelson Land District and the building known as Hope Fruit Stores (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Nelson City


Nelson Region

Legal description

Pt Lots 2-3 DP 14 (RT NL9C/1084), Nelson Land District


Constructed circa 1889–90, Hope Fruit Stores (Former) is one of the oldest buildings in Nelson’s central business district. This timber building has architectural heritage value as a characteristic example of a late nineteenth century New Zealand commercial premises, which was constructed by well-known local contractor, John Scott (1832?–1897). It also has local historic importance because it is associated with prominent businesses.

Nelson was the New Zealand Company’s second settlement. The site was chosen by Captain Arthur Wakefield (1799–1843) in 1841 and Trafalgar and Nile Streets were the first roads surveyed. As Wakefield intended, Trafalgar Street north of Church Hill became a predominantly commercial area. Some reasons for the settlement’s location were the Nelson area’s rich timber resources and fertile growing areas. These characteristics came together in the construction of a building for Hope Fruit Stores. The business’s previous building on the site was removed in late 1889 and tenders called for its replacement. It seems that Scott won the contract as in December he applied to the Council to erect a verandah for the new building. Scott had a 40-year career as a local timber mill owner and building contractor, ‘constructing most of the major buildings in the city and district’.

The two-storey building’s street-front shop section was originally divided in two. The upper level has three arched windows with pilasters either side. Other decorative façade features popular at the time include a cornice with dentils below. The tall parapet masks the hipped roof and has a solid central section flanked by balustrading. Originally the parapet was capped by finials, removed during the twentieth century.

Local produce was sold from the building until the property was purchased by respected saddler, Peter John Dickson (1859?–1936), in 1900. Dickson had been in business locally since the 1880s, operating from Bridge Street and a branch in Richmond. The move to Trafalgar Street was motivated by the need for more space. Dickson made immediate changes to Hope Fruit Stores (Former), such as removing the ground level partition to create a single showroom. The building also had a workshop and accommodations for Dickson and his workers. Dickson retired in 1914 but retained ownership of the building until his death.

Subsequent owners have included booksellers Whitcombe and Tombs and the Trathens, a longstanding Nelson business family who have a larger premises opposite Hope Fruit Stores (Former).

Many of Nelson’s nineteenth century central business district commercial buildings have been replaced and Hope Fruit Stores (Former) is among the oldest remaining on Trafalgar Street. It is architecturally comparable to a number of contemporary modest commercial premises which are on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

John Scott

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

1900 -
Shop alterations

Completion Date

27th April 2016

Report Written By

Karen Astwood

Information Sources

Nelson Evening Mail

Nelson Evening Mail

‘City Improvements’, Nelson Evening Mail, 15 Nov 1900, p.2.

Nelson Historical Society Journal

Nelson Historical Society Journal

Win, Pat, ‘Dr. Bush’s Windmill and Town Acre 234’, Nelson Historical Society Journal, vol.7, no.2, 2010, pp.14–21, http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-NHSJ07_02-t1-g1-t4.html, accessed 18 Mar 2016.

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand


Walrond, Carl, ‘Nelson region - European settlement’, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/nelson-region/page-5, 13 Jul 2012 update.

Other Information

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Central Region Office of Heritage New Zealand