41 Ranfurly Street, St Albans, Christchurch

  • House.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Pam Wilson. Date: 11/11/2004.
  • Front door (2004).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: P Wilson.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1890 Date Entered 14th April 2005 Date of Effect 14th April 2005


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes the house, its fittings and fixtures, and the land on CB23F/600.

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 10 DP 1351 (RT CB23F/600), Canterbuy Land District


In July 1863 the Soanes family from Oxford, England, arrived in Christchurch, and settled in St Albans - then known as Knightstown. In 1867 seven year old Henry Albert was joined by a brother with the birth of second son, Philip Walter. Both sons eventually followed their father, a master bricklayer, in his trade. The brothers worked together, and described themselves as builders and bricklayers.

In April 1899 the brothers bought adjacent quarter acre sections in a small St Albans subdivision, and took the opportunity to build a pair of houses that demonstrated their professional skill. Harry's former house at 45 Ranfurly St (Cat. I) is an elaborately detailed double brick square villa, with a terracotta tile roof. Next door at 41 Ranfurly St is Philip's former residence. This house, a double brick return bay villa, is similarly constructed, but with plastered details rather than the plain moulded brick of the former, and has an iron roof.

Philip sold no. 41 to George Hickmott, a brewer, in 1908. [In 1941 the ownership of the house passed to Isabel Eleanor Regnault, daughter of Sidney Hickmott.] In 1944 it was sold to Patrick Joseph Molloy, clerk. The Molloy family occupied the house until 2002, when it was bought by Nicolas and Tracey Tyler. During 2003 sympathetic alterations and additions were carried out at the rear (north) of the house by Wilson and Hill Architects to provide modern dining, living, bathroom and kitchen facilities. Two rear chimneys were removed at this time. The front section of the house retains its original form and character. The grounds have been re-landscaped so that the view of the house from the street is improved.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

41 Ranfurly St has architectural significance as a good representation of the planning of turn of the century bay villas distinguished by the special qualities of the varied crafted details which were applied. This owner/builder's skills are demonstrated in the decorative plaster and timber details that he has used to provide his home with high quality finishes.

The house is also of social significance as an intended exemplar of the builder's craftsmanship, and as a statement of middle class social aspirations and expectations in this period.

(a) as an exemplar of a middle class house, it precisely represents the social aspirations of the period;

(g) as an exemplar, the house incorporates popular design and decorative features of the period, executed with a high degree of skill;

(k) it is one of a pair of similar but non-identical brick villas built to showcase the exemplary design and construction standards offered by the Soane brothers.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Soanes, Harry

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Wilson & Hill

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

The house at 41 Ranfurly Street is an elaborate double brick return bay villa. The three sash windows of the faceted front bay have lead light fan light casements, and are surmounted with a plaster frieze. This bay is unusually crowned with a hexagonal turret roof and finial. The other bay is square with a hipped roof. Other exterior features include plastered eave brackets, decorative chimneys, balustraded front steps and encaustic tiled paving on the verandah, which is embellished with cast iron lace

The interior is equally as lavish and well-preserved, with plaster ceilings and cornices, elaborate fireplaces, panelled doors and leadlights. As the central pane of the front door had earlier been filled with modern glass, the present owners commissioned a stained glass artist to create a replacement to complement the surrounding existing, original panes. The front door opens to a central passage which features a decorative archway breaking its length and separating the two formal rooms facing the street frontage from the "domestic" portion of the house at the rear. The recent alterations and additions to the north provide modern facilities to make the house a convenient 21st century family home, encouraging its long term survival. These are not visible from the street and the main part of the house retains its original appearance and character.

The house is similar in size, materials, construction and decoration to its exact contemporary (and next door neighbour) at 45 Ranfurly St (1899, Cat. 1)

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1899 -

2003 -
Alterations and additions to rear.

Construction Details

Double brick with plastered decorative elements and a corrugated iron roof.

Information Sources

Christchurch Press


New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

NZHPT File 12013-715; NZHPT Field Record Form

Other Information

A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Southern Region Office.

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.