Band Rotunda

Leamington Domain, Wordsworth Street, Cambridge

  • Band Rotunda.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Aranne Donald. Date: 16/01/2002.
  • Band Rotunda.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Aranne Donald. Date: 16/01/2002.
  • Band Rotunda.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Aranne Donald. Date: 16/01/2002.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 4193 Date Entered 14th February 1991 Date of Effect 14th February 1991


City/District Council

Waipa District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Allot 569 Town of Cambridge West (RT 451551, NZ Gazette 1984 p.3529), South Auckland Land District



Cambridge has two band rotundas dating from early this century when, in addition to recreational activities such as tennis and bowls, domains were used for band concerts. The rotunda in the Te Koutu Domain was built in 1907 while that in the Leamington Domain was built in 1910.

The original site of the band rotunda/pavilion built in the "Leamington Domain Reserve" is unclear. Local histories suggest that the structure was first located at the corner of Bracken Street and Te Awamutu Road in the town belt. The rotunda/pavilion was relocated from this site to its present site in 1921.

By 1901 the Cambridge West Domain Board was gazetted. The domain had an area of 347 acres of which about 246 acres were leased for grazing. In 1904 about 23 acres were in use for general recreation. By 1909 the Domain was being used for tennis, hockey, cricket, football and picnics. It was decided that a pavilion with dressing room and lockers should be erected with swings for the children and seats placed about the grounds. Charles Reid was instructed to prepare plans and specifications for a pavilion and bandstand, and two toilets. The lowest tender of the seven received, that of William Hogan for £225, was accepted. On completion of the building at a cost of just less than £300, a gala day was held to mark the opening on 25 May 1910. The building was officially opened by Mr W H Herries, Member of Parliament for the district.

In 1921, partly in an effort to inhibit vandalism of the structure, the pavilion/rotunda was relocated. Relocation was again briefly considered in 1983. Maintenance work was carried out, however, and the building remains on the Leamington Domain as home to the Cambridge Radio and Electronic Club.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Unlike the decorative rotundas used largely as speaking platforms or for concerts in public domains early this century, the Leamington structure, incorporating the sports pavilion with kitchen and dressing-rooms, was a more versatile community facility. It is also a visible reminder of the self-sufficient Leamington community which was not incorporated into Cambridge Borough until 1958.


The Leamington Band Rotunda is a large example of an Edwardian band rotunda. The scale and quality of its cast-iron decoration and the grand but unusual proportions mark this as one of New Zealand's best rotundas. The provision of a dressing-room underneath an elevated bandstand may well be unique in this country.


Although other Domain amenities are sited close to the rotunda, the park setting and long views from Wordsworth Street give the building a prominence which transcends its small scale.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Reid, Charles

Little is known of Charles Reid. He was listed as a practising architect in Cambridge between 1913 and 1915 and later in 1915 appeared registered as an associate to the NZ Institute of Architects. Other buildings known to be designed by Reid include the Whakatane Borough Council Municipal Buildings.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The band rotunda is an octagonal pavilion, six metres in diameter. A two metre wide verandah with a bull-nose roof encloses three sides of the ground storey. The verandah is supported on turned kauri posts decorated with cast iron brackets with frieze bearing a cornucopia motif.

The second floor bandstand has eight turned kauri posts enclosed by a finely detailed balustrade. There is a cast-iron frieze with brackets. A simple bench cantilevered from the posts extends around five sides of the rotunda. The tongue-and-groove ceiling radiates

from a plaster patera. The rotunda is capped by a cupola and finial.


Date unknown:

- 3-pane swivel windows boarded up

- Door of eastern porch blocked in

- Access stairs to bandstand removed

- two filigree brackets removed


- Bandstand repiled and raised approximately 190mm

- PVC plumbing installed

Notable Features

Iron work; finial.

Construction Dates

3-pane swivel windows boarded up. Door of eastern porch blocked in. Access stairs to bandstand removed. Two filigree brackets removed

1984 -
Bandstand repiled and raised approximately 190mm. PVC plumbing installed

Original Construction
1910 -

Construction Details

Concrete and timber footings. Ground floor, timber frame construction of heart totara and kauri, clad in rusticated weatherboarding. Second floor pavilion supported on eight turned kauri posts. Long run corrugated steel roofing on cupola and verandah. Cast iron valance ornament and roof finial.

Information Sources

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR)

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives

C10 Public Domains 1905-15

Beer, 1975

Plough of the Pakeha. Cambridge: Cambridge Historical Society, 1975.

Wises Post Office Directories

Wises Post Office Directories


New Zealand Building Progress

New Zealand Building Progress

September 1915, p.427

March 1918, p.168

New Zealand Gazette

New Zealand Gazette

9 May 1901, p1019

Waikato Times

19 April 1983, p17

Parker, 1986

S K Parker, Cambridge: An Illustrated History 1886-1986: The Centenary of Local Government in Cambridge, Cambridge 1986

Cambridge Independent

Cambridge Independent

22 March 1983, p8

Waikato Argus

Waikato Argus

26 May 1910, p2

Waikato Independent

Waikato Independent

4 December, 1909, p5; 14 December 1909, p4; 13 January 1910, p5; 2 April 1910, p4; 9 April 1910, p5; 23 April 1910, p4; 21 May 1910, p4; 24 May 1910, p4; 26 May 1910, p6; 10 August, 1911; 22 August 1911

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration

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.