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1. 1 Ethel St, Sandringham
2. 1909 Survey of Allotment 153 | Crown Copyright LINZ
3. 1910 Plan for Subdivision | Crown Copyright LINZ


1 Ethel Street

I draw to your attention that we have added a Mt Albert Heritage Listing page We hope to provide further information to you for each listing over a period of time.  There were three categories of listings, A B and C, when handed over to Auckland City on amalgamation in 1989. Auckland City promptly dropped any C listings. It is one of these C listed buildings that is the subject of this article. In 1851 Elihu Shaw paid Thomas Holmes £42 for Allotment 153. In 1855 Shaw sold just over 5 (five) acres of it to James Gribble.  The portion sold to James Gribble was sold again by him to John Matthews, a customs officer in 1860 for£87. Matthews sold the property to confectioner Alfred Herbert in 1869 for £270. This large increase in value would seem to indicate a building had been erected on the site, further confirmed by the notation on the deeds “along with all the buildings thereon” of the next owner from 1876, John Nichol Crombie.

Our assumption is that Matthews was an occupying ratepayer in the initial years of the Mt Albert Highway District built and lived on Allotment 153. This dates the house at 1 Ethel Street from between 1860 and 1869. Certainly some of the features of the house could reflect architectural features of the 1860s.

In 1889 Allotment 153 was sold to Mary Ann Taylor who had the property surveyed in 1909 (see photo 4806 above)

Photo 4879 above shows the 1910 plan for subdivision showing the house in place on lot 5 as it still is today. (Note also the stable which has become part of lot 6.)

It is sad to see the deterioration of one of the few 1860s farmhouses we have left in Mt Albert. It’s not “fancy’’ or ‘’high class’’ but it reflects a part of our Mount Albert architectural history of which we have next to nothing left compared to other pioneer suburbs.

In February 2009 I supplied historical data to Auckland City requesting that it be reconsidered for heritage protection. In nearly three years nothing has been done. Have they put it in the too hard basket or are they hoping it will be demolished before they are required to take the matter further?

Do you know of any other C listings of the Mt Albert City Council, at as changeover to Auckland City in 1989, that still survive?

Are you aware that you do not need to be the owner of a property to apply for Heritage listing of it?

You simply download the form from Auckland City website. BUT you must be prepared to supply historical research as to why it should be added to the heritage list.


Mary Inomata     December 2011