Waddell’s General Drapery (Former)

30 Bledisloe Street, Kurow

  • Waddell’s General Drapery (Former), Kurow.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Sarah Gallagher. Date: 16/06/2019.
  • Waddell’s General Drapery (Former), Kurow..
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Sarah Gallagher. Date: 16/06/2019.
  • Waddell’s General Drapery (Former), Kurow. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 26/02/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4894 Date Entered 25th September 1986 Date of Effect 25th September 1986


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt Sec 4 Blk XV Town of Kurow (RT OT89/51), Otago Land District, and the building known as Waddell’s General Drapery (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Waitaki District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 4 Blk XV Town of Kurow (RT OT89/51), Otago Land District


This modest stone shop, probably built in the early 1890s as a branch of draper William Waddell’s successful Oamaru business, is typical of a small town nineteenth century shop front . Waddell’s General Drapery (Former) has architectural and historical significance.

The township of Kurow in the Waitaki Valley in North Otago was surveyed in 1880 and town sections offered for sale shortly after. Section 4 was offered for sale in November 1881. It was sold in two parts – with bootmaker David Murray and William Waddell each buying part. The land on which this building stands was granted to Oamaru tailor William Waddell in 1889. Waddell (1851-1918) was born in Lanarkshire Scotland. He arrived in Port Chalmers in 1879, settling in Oamaru where he established a tailoring business known as Glasgow Clothing House in 1881. He established a branch in Kurow in 1888, trading as a merchant tailor and gents’ outfitter. His Kurow branch was initially managed by Thomas Dodds.

Little information has been found about the building’s early history. Waddell’s first building was destroyed in Kurow’s large main street fire in November 1891. It is possible that the building was designed by Oamaru (later Kurow) ‘architect’ Edwin Hardy. Hardy designed Glasgow Clothing House in Oamaru for Waddell in 1881. Hardy advertised for tenders for the erection of ‘BUSINESS PREMISES (Store) at Kurow in 1891. If the building was erected after Waddell had begun trading (and local history indicates this may be the case), it is not known where is earlier premises were. The Cyclopedia of Otago and Southland records that Waddell opened his shop about 1890.

Waddell’s General Drapery is a single storey shop built from Oamaru stone. The façade is divided in two: a store front with recessed central door flanked by plate glass windows; and a smaller four-pane window with a panelled door providing access to the rear of the building. The building is plainly detailed, with pilasters and a string course the only features. There is a residence at the rear of the building.

A later manager, David McCullough bought the business in 1903. The sale advertisement describes the premises as a ‘OUTFITTERS and GENERAL DRAPERY and MILLINERY BUSINESS’ with a freehold section fronting the main street and a ‘5-roomed dwelling with two shops, all built with Oamaru stone.’ In 1911 T. Wright bought the business and opened a general store, continuing also to stock clothing. The Barclay Brothers, who ran a store at nearby Hakataramea bought the premises in 1921 and owned it into the 1940s. In the 1940s the building was occupied by the National Mortgage and Agency Company. For many years the building was owned by Mrs Grace Campbell who lived in the residence at the rear. In 2017, Waddell’s General Drapery (Former) is still a shop with a residence behind.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1892 -

Completion Date

13th February 2017

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1905

Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 4 Otago and Southland, Cyclopedia Company, Christchurch, 1905

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts], Cyclopedia Company Limited, Christchurch 1905. URL: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/name-412290.html

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 Otago/Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand.