Historic Place Category 1
Approximate NZMG Easting 2668514.02; Approximate NZMG Northing 6478064.33 (Taken from approximate centre of site).
Lot 1 DP 193674 (CT NA121C/466), North Auckland Land District
Extent of Registration
Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 193674 (CT NA121C/466), North Auckland Land District, and the building and structures known as Marivare thereon, and their fittings and fixtures. The registration includes a totara tree and a plum tree located to the east and to the north of the building respectively. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).
Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)
Located in Epsom’s Ranfurly Road, Marivare is a large and unusually well-preserved nineteenth-century residence that consists of a two-storey Regency-style timber structure (circa 1862-5) and a brick ballroom addition of Tudor Revival design incorporating battlements and an attached conservatory (1880s). Marivare is of particular value for the extent and range of its surviving interior features and has strong historical associations with several prominent nineteenth century Auckland politicians and businessmen including Henry Ellis, Thomas Henderson and lawyer John Russell.
Marivare is located to the south of Mt St John (Te Kopuke or Tikikopuke) a pa occupied by Waiohua peoples under the leadership of Kiwi Tamaki before Ngati Whatua conquered the Auckland isthmus in the eighteenth century. Following the founding of Auckland as colonial capital in 1840, the land at Ranfurly Road was part of several Crown Grants developed in 1859 as Maytown. In 1862 merchant Henry Ellis (1828-1879) bought a substantial land parcel in the subdivision on which to develop a country estate.
Ulster-born Ellis commissioned the construction of a large two-storey family residence of Regency design, which was erected in circa 1862-5. Known as Windermere, the timber building had wide double-storeyed verandahs, a slate roof and a basement of local basalt. The structure contained twelve rooms, including a laundry, dairy and fuel stores in the basement. A kitchen, pantry, servant’s bedroom, drawing room and a dining room occupied the ground floor. A further drawing room was located upstairs. The property was unsuccessfully offered at auction in late 1865 and became the subject of a mortgagee sale two years later. Ellis was elected to the Provincial Council in 1869. He later worked as an immigration agent and subsequently as the Immigration Officer for Auckland before becoming a Wesleyan minister in mid-life.
The residence subsequently passed through several hands and was owned for a decade by prominent Auckland businessmen and politician Thomas Henderson who had co-founded the Circular Saw Shipping Line and several influential colonial institutions including the Bank of New Zealand. The residence was purchased by prominent Auckland lawyer and businessman John Russell in the early 1880s and renamed Marivare.
Russell commissioned renovations, a ballroom addition of Tudor Revival design and a conservatory. Ornate interior detailing included ceiling panels with impressed decoration in the ground floor drawing room; and a three-piece dado, a ceiling frieze and three fireplaces in the ballroom. Door panels in the ballroom were painted with landscape scenes.
Following Russell’s death in 1894, Marivare was purchased by his eldest daughter Ada Carr. The residence on a reduced site was bought by the Carr’s elder son in the 1930s, by which time a musicians’ alcove in the ballroom may have been demolished. A timber addition constructed in 1944 accommodated a more modern kitchen. Following further subdivision in 1957, Marivare was converted into eight flats. New kitchen and bathroom facilities were largely fitted into existing rooms, and removed mouldings were put into storage. Under new owners in the 1990s, these alterations were carefully reversed to recover the building’s late nineteenth and early twentieth-century features and finishes.
Marivare has outstanding aesthetic significance for the variety and quality of surviving elements of its nineteenth-century interior, including coloured glass, fireplaces, staircase, tiling and decorative finishes of considerable antiquity which include hand-painted scenes on four door panels. It has special architectural value as an unusually well-preserved example of a 1860s Regency-style residence, with a substantial 1880s ballroom addition and attached conservatory. The place has historical significance for its associations with Henry Ellis, Thomas Henderson, John Russell and other influential individuals, and illustrates the wealth of Auckland’s nineteenth-century business and political elite. Marivare has special social significance for reflecting the importance of status and social connections in colonial Auckland and the tastes and past times of well-to-do members of nineteenth-century society.
The place is historically significant for demonstrating the wealth of Auckland’s political, mercantile and professional elite in the mid to late nineteenth century. It has particular value for reflecting the suburban estate lifestyle adopted by many affluent families from the 1860s onwards. As one of a network of wealthy estate residences in the vicinity, the place demonstrates Epsom’s early growth as a prosperous suburb of Auckland.
The place also has historical significance for its associations with several members of the landed, political and mercantile elite of nineteenth-century Auckland. These include Henry Ellis an early Auckland merchant who commissioned construction of the house as a family home and who later entered provincial government politics; James O’Neill and Thomas Henderson, owner occupiers who sold respectively upon being called to sit in the Legislative Council, the upper house of New Zealand’s parliament; and banker Joseph Elam Pounds who subsequently became a casualty of note in the late nineteenth-century land speculation crash in Victoria.
Marivare has particular historical value for its seven and a half-decade association with the family of prominent Auckland lawyer, businessman and landscape gardener J. B. Russell and some of his descendants. Russell founded the important law firm of Russell McVeigh.
Aesthetic Significance or Value
Marivare has aesthetic significance as a visually interesting composition consisting of a two-and-a half-storey colonial timber residence with return verandahs and French doors; a late nineteenth-century ballroom incorporating battlements on the exterior; and a late-Victorian conservatory. The place has particular aesthetic significance for the visual variety and quality of surviving elements of its nineteenth-century interior including door cases and hall window with orange and turquoise coloured glass, staircase, fireplaces, kitchen tiling, drawing room ceiling with decorative impressed panels, joinery, remnant wall linings in the ballroom and surface finishes of considerable antiquity including hand-painted scenes on four door panels. The place also has aesthetic value for its surviving setting including a nineteenth-century totara tree, stone retaining wall and steps, and formal entrance steps and verandah floor with terracotta tiling.
Architectural Significance or Value
The place has architectural value as an unusually well-preserved example of a Regency-style estate homestead of timber construction dating from the early to mid 1860s, with a ballroom of brick construction and a conservatory, additions that date from the 1880s. It reflects changes in architectural design during the mid to late nineteenth century, and the affluence and eclectic tastes of some sectors of late-Victorian colonial society.
Social Significance or Value
The place reflects attitudes to social status among the colonial political, business and professional elite in the mid to late nineteenth century through its location, appearance and layout. It also reflects social connections in these circles. The place has particular significance for illustrating the tastes, leisure activities and past times of well-to-do members of suburban society, and the manner in which a large suburban household operated.
Summary of Assessed Criteria
(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history
The place reflects the early development of suburban residential estates on the fringe of the colonial capital during a period of economic buoyancy stemming from military spending immediately before and during the second New Zealand - or Waikato - War; and construction activity during Auckland’s economic boom of the early to mid 1880s. The place is particularly significant for reflecting the presence of landed, political and mercantile elites on the urban fringe in mid to late nineteenth-century Auckland.
(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history
The place is significant for its associations with Auckland provincial politician and government official Henry Ellis, an Ulsterman who was closely associated with nineteenth-century British colonisation in the province as a military volunteer in the 1860s; and as an immigration agent and later as Immigration Officer for Auckland during the 1870s which included an association with Vesey Stewart’s Special Settlement at Katikati - a rare planned migration of Irish Protestant farming families to the colony.
The place also has value as the residence of other prominent figures in colonial Auckland, particularly Thomas Henderson and John Russell. Henderson was a well-established early Auckland businessman who co-founded Henderson and Macfarlane, a timber milling, warehousing and shipping firm with vessels plying the coastal and Pacific Island trades as the Circular Saw Line. A member of the Legislative Council, Henderson was one of the founders of the New Zealand Insurance Company (1859), the Bank of New Zealand (1861), and the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency (1865) which were dominant financial institutions in the nineteenth-century New Zealand economy. Marivare was also the residence of noted Auckland, lawyer, businessman and landscape gardener J. B. Russell who founded a legal practice in 1863 that became Russell McVeigh, one of the largest law firms in twenty-first century New Zealand.
(c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history
Marivare has outstanding significance for its potential to provide information about nineteenth-century approaches to social status, the display of wealth, and the decorative tastes of elite households in New Zealand. As a particularly well-preserved residence of 1860s date with later nineteenth-century modifications and additions, the place has special potential to provide information about the development of colonial housing and domestic activity in New Zealand, including the social significance of architectural style, layout and ornamentation. Marivare also has potential to provide information about nineteenth-century materials including coloured glass, decorative products and finishes, some of which may be rare or unusual survivals. Its well-preserved ballroom and conservatory can provide information about recreation and other activities in elite late nineteenth-century households.
(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place
The place has outstanding value for the visual impact of its design through its exceptionally well-preserved nineteenth-century exterior, internal spaces, features and finishes. External elements of note include its wide, double-storey return verandahs. Important internal elements encompass cast iron fireplaces, well-preserved examples of nineteenth-century tiling including plain surfaces in part of the former kitchen and scullery; decorative tiling in the fireplaces and hearths in the former ballroom; and tessellated floors in the verandah and part of the conservatory. Significant materials include coloured glass believed to date from the 1860s; well-preserved 1880s ceiling panels of what is believed to be a rare local example of linoleum-like material with impressed patterning; remnants of a late-Victorian three-piece dado with botanical and insect motifs; and paper wall-linings including an anaglypta frieze with an early painted finish. The place has special significance for floor and paint finishes of antiquity, including four small door panels with hand painted scenery that are believed to be works of late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century date. The interior reflects the patina of age to an unusual extent.
The place has special value as a particularly well-preserved timber residence of colonial Regency design which, combined with similarly intact late nineteenth-century additions, demonstrate a shift from Georgian to Victorian architecture in colonial New Zealand. It is a relatively uncommon example of a nineteenth-century residence with a surviving ballroom; and incorporates a comparatively early extant example of a conservatory in the Auckland region. It retains hard landscape features including front entrance steps with tiling and a nineteenth century stone retaining wall with a set of steps, as well as two trees of some antiquity.
(i) The importance of identifying places known to date from early periods of New Zealand settlement
Marivare is a well-preserved early colonial residence that dates to the period when Auckland was the colonial capital of New Zealand.
(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape
The place forms a notable part of a significant and comparatively well-preserved historical and cultural landscape in Epsom, a nineteenth-century colonial suburb favoured by the influential and wealthy among Auckland’s citizenry for their residential estates. It is one of a number of significant mid nineteenth-century estate buildings in the Epsom area, which include Highwic, Clifton, Rocklands Hall, Rockwood, the former St John’s Wood, and Prospect. The place also forms part of a historical and cultural landscape in South Epsom which includes the John Logan Campbell Monument, the former Epsom Post Office, Marivare Reserve (formerly part of the Marivare grounds) with surviving nineteenth-century Spanish oak trees, and a later War Memorial arch constructed on land donated by a member of the Russell family to commemorate local men who died in combat during the First World War. Other important elements of the South Epsom landscape encompass the extensive pa at Maungakiekie, and several recognised historic places in Cornwall Park, One Tree Hill Domain and Green Lane Hospital.
It is considered that this place qualifies as a Category I historic place. Marivare has outstanding significance for its potential to provide information about nineteenth-century approaches to social status, the display of wealth, and the decorative tastes of elite households in New Zealand. As a particularly well-preserved residence of 1860s date with later nineteenth-century modifications and additions, the place has special potential to provide information about the development of colonial housing and domestic activity in New Zealand, including the social significance of architectural style, layout and ornamentation.
The place has outstanding value for the visual impact of its design through its exceptionally well-preserved nineteenth-century exterior, internal spaces, features and finishes. External elements of note include its wide, double-storey return verandahs. Important internal elements encompass cast iron fireplaces, well-preserved examples of nineteenth-century tiling including plain surfaces in part of the former kitchen and scullery; decorative tiling in the fireplaces and hearths in the former ballroom; and tessellated floors in the verandah and part of the conservatory. The place has special significance for floor and paint finishes of antiquity, including four small door panels with hand painted scenery that are believed to be works of late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century date.
The place has special value as a particularly well-preserved timber residence of colonial Regency design which, combined with similarly intact late nineteenth-century additions, demonstrates a shift from Georgian to Victorian architecture in colonial New Zealand.
Early history of the site
Marivare is located in Epsom, within the central part of the Auckland isthmus. The property lies to the southwest of Mt St John (Te Kopuke or Tikikopuke), a pa occupied by Waiohua peoples under the leadership of Kiwi Tamaki in the early 1700s. Mt St John was part of the broader Auckland isthmus taken over by Ngati Whatua in the eighteenth century preceding Auckland’s founding as colonial capital in 1840.
Subdivided into farms as early as 1842, the wider Epsom area became renowned for its large country homes and later as a prestigious residential suburb. The site on which Marivare was later built was one of two adjoining Crown Grants, each of approximately 3.6 hectares, made to William Field Porter (1784-1869) in 1842. Formerly a ship owner, Porter had arrived in Auckland 1841 and briefly traded as a general merchant before taking up farming at West Tamaki.
By 1859 Joseph May (1815-1890), later a deputy superintendent of the Auckland Province, owned the Epsom holding as part of a broader area he developed as Maytown. The subdivision provided sites for villas, cottage residences and market gardens centred on what later became known as Ranfurly Road. Until 1871, when the colonial government assumed more direct control in immigration matters, provincial governments were able to seek whatever settlers they desired for colonisation and after 1858 regulated the disposal of public land and used the land revenue. In 1864 the Auckland provincial government sent May to England to recruit immigrant workers.
Construction and initial use as Windermere (circa 1862-1865)
In early 1862 Henry Ellis (1828-1879) secured a substantial land parcel on the south side of Ranfurly Road with a frontage to Manukau Road. Described as a man of refinement and intelligence, Ellis was originally from Bundoran, County Donegal. Prior to setting up as a merchant and auctioneer in Auckland in circa 1854, he may have lived in Australia. Ellis had been raised in the Anglican faith, but underwent a religious conversion by the Wesleyan Reverend James Buller (1812-1884) shortly after arriving in the colonial capital.
Ellis evidently commissioned the construction of a large two-storey country house of Regency design, which was erected at an unknown date between 1862 and 1865. The dates of mortgage documents suggest that the dwelling, later described as one of a number of ‘good private houses’ built in Auckland during the 1860s, may have been under construction as early as October 1862, or in late 1864.
Initially known as Windermere, the timber building was erected on a property of almost two hectares. It was intended as a family home and held a large number of rooms. Ellis had married Georgina (nee Beamish) of Kilkernmore, County Cork in Auckland’s Wesleyan Chapel in 1855. By 1861 the Irish-born couple had at least one living child, a daughter.
Externally, the building had wide, return verandahs of double-storey height, and a shallow, hipped roof of imported slate. The house incorporated a basement built of Mt Eden bluestone, which accommodated a laundry, dairy, and coal and wood stores. Four chimney stacks served the ten main rooms. The residence had a simple and airy design, incorporating French doors and casements - a feature commonly associated with colonial Australian Regency architecture. These opened onto the large two-storey return verandah, which faced north and east.
Internally, the north-facing front entrance opened into a wide entrance hall which led to the staircase. The hall was intersected by a cross-passage that separated the reception rooms - a dining room, and a drawing room - from the kitchen, pantry and a servant’s bedroom on the south side of the house. On the upper floor were three bedrooms, two dressing rooms and a drawing room.
Windermere was constructed in the colonial capital during a period of economic buoyancy caused by a government loan financing the second New Zealand - or Waikato - War (1863-4). At a public meeting canvassing the establishment of a permanent rifle corps in 1863, Ellis advocated a comprehensive volunteer movement including a company of artillery and of cavalry. He subsequently became an officer of a northern cavalry troop in active service.
Auckland passed into a period of economic depression following the end of the Waikato campaign in 1864 which brought an end to liberal credit advances from trading banks and merchants. The transfer of the government administration to Wellington in 1865 resulted in the loss of further associated financial benefits. In these difficult times, Ellis unsuccessfully offered his spacious dwelling for auction in December of 1865.
At this time, the residence was described as a handsome mansion containing twelve rooms, with outhouses consisting of a stable, coachhouse, harness room, a cow shed and fowl yards. A well provided water throughout the summer months and the garden was well-stocked with shrubs, fruit trees and flowers.
In November 1867 the Ellis residence, referred to as Maytown and evidently occupying an expanded fenced property under cultivation, was the subject of a mortgagee sale.
Following his departure from Windermere, Ellis was elected to the Auckland Provincial Council in 1869. He edited the short-lived Auckland Daily News; is said to have worked as a journalist at the Daily Southern Cross; and in 1870 became a member of the executive committee of the Local Industry League.
Later work as an immigration agent led him to become involved in formation of George Vesey Stewart’s (1832-1920) Special Settlement at Katikati. The Ulster Plantation paralleled the 1850s arrival of Highlanders at Waipu via Nova Scotia and initially attracted 40 families of Protestant Irish farmers. Ellis was an immigration officer in Auckland during the Premiership of Julius Vogel who sought large numbers of settlers considered essential to the success of an extensive public works programme. He resigned as immigration officer in 1876 and was received into the Wesleyan Ministry in mid-life. Ellis died in 1879 aged 51, after three years in the itinerancy at Waimate and Woodend, in Canterbury.
Ongoing use as an elite family home
Windermere was purchased in late 1867 by Irish-born Catholic James O’Neill. O’Neill served as a member of the Auckland Provincial Council, was a member of the first Parliament of New Zealand and sat in the Upper House from 1869 until 1872.
In December 1869 prominent Auckland businessman and politician Thomas Henderson (1810-1886) became the resident owner. Henderson was a founder of Henderson and Macfarlane, a timber milling, warehousing and shipping firm with vessels plying the coastal and Pacific Island trades as the Circular Saw Line. He was also a founder of the New Zealand Insurance Company (1859) and the two dominant financial institutions in the nineteenth-century New Zealand economy - the Bank of New Zealand (1861) and the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency (1865). A member of the Provincial Council and the General Assembly, Henderson sold his Ranfurly Road residence in 1878, the year he became a member of the Legislative Council in Wellington.
From 1878 until 1882 the house was briefly owned by Joseph Elam Pounds, who had arrived in New Zealand in late 1874 as the manager of the Auckland branch of the Union Bank of Australia. Pounds subsequently became involved in land speculation in the Upper Thames area and after working for Christchurch stock and station agent Dalgety and Company, returned to Australia. There he became the chairman of the ill-fated Centennial Land Bank formed to finance real estate speculation during the Victorian land boom which peaked around 1888. Pounds’ personal borrowings resulted in his bankruptcy by 1891 with debts of £140,000 on which he paid a half penny in the pound.
Marivare and late nineteenth-century alterations (1882-1894)
The Epsom residence was purchased by solicitor John Benjamin (J. B.) Russell (1834-1894) in September 1882, commencing the family’s seven-and-a-half-decade association with the property they named Marivare. Born in New South Wales, J. B. Russell was the third of five children of Irish immigrants. The family moved to Kororareka in 1840 and Auckland in 1841. In 1857 John Russell was articled to his elder brother Thomas Russell (1830-1904), an Auckland lawyer and arguably the outstanding commercial figure in nineteenth-century New Zealand. During the 1850s and 1860s when each of the four Russell brothers founded law practices that survive into the twenty-first century, lawyers held considerable influence in the community and were facilitators of business in colony. In November 1861 J. B. Russell married Mary Ann Nolan (1834-1931) who contributed much to his professional and social success. The firm established by J. B. Russell in 1863 became the modern Russell McVeigh.
J. B. Russell’s early clients included local bodies and commercial interests such as the Auckland Gas Company (1865), the Auckland City Council (1871) and the Auckland Harbour Board (1871). Practise in the colony’s major port on the international steam routes via Suez and San Francisco and the centre of a significant coastal, Tasman and South Sea trade also brought Russell major clients. These included the Circular Saw shipping line, the Dunedin-based Union Steam Ship Company Limited and merchants heavily involved in import-export trade. Constitutional innovations associated with the abolition of provincial government in the 1870s involved the transfer of powers to local bodies under new legislation that expanded the firm’s local government law expertise.
The Russells took possession of the Epsom property in February 1884 following extensive renovations. The family of nine took up residence after a world tour commenced in late 1884. In the interim, Marivare - an Australian name that may have been bestowed by Mary Anne Russell in memory of her earlier life at Bathurst - was leased to Mr J. E. MacDonald the Chief Judge of the Native Court. The Russells returned in 1886 to a weak economy following the collapse of the Auckland land market and many businesses. Russell’s social standing and wide circle of friends contributed to the success of Campbell and Russell which was one of the city’s largest law firms by the 1890s, although Russell also derived a substantial income from his personal investments.
Early in the Russells’ occupancy, banisters were evidently replaced at Marivare. The enclosure of an area of the upstairs verandah with glass (west end) may have occurred at this time or at an unknown date prior to 1902. Finely detailed decorative panels said to have been imported from England in 1882 were incorporated in a new drawing room ceiling. These may have been imitative of richly tooled leather panels evidenced in wealthy English houses of sixteenth and seventeenth-century date.
Circa 1884, a large ballroom with a sprung floor - and a wine cellar and photographic darkroom in the basement below - was added to the west of the house. In 1881, some years before the family moved to Epsom, Mary Anne had instituted a Friday ‘At Home’ that always culminated in a dance.
Reflecting an architectural eclecticism not uncommon in late Victorian colonial New Zealand, the exterior of the ballroom was influenced by a Victorian Tudor Revival architectural style popular for English country homes. Constructed in brick and finished with a cement plaster, the substantial addition protruded further to the south than the line of the 1860s Regency-style timber house and incorporated two west-facing bays with battlemented parapets and a steeply gabled roof. The northernmost of the two bays was a musicians’ gallery.
Ballrooms were a feature of a number of New Zealand’s larger residences as early as the 1870s and, as at nearby Rocklands Hall, were often constructed as an addition. Marivare’s ballroom had three fireplaces, two sitting alcoves - one of which was the musicians’ gallery with separate exterior access - and walls finished with an anaglypta frieze and a dado with decorative bas relief. The ballroom reflected the Russells’ social standing and love of entertaining, and the interests of a household with six daughters. A miniature landscape, the work of a female member of the Russell family or an associate, was painted on each of four door panels, all seven Russell children having been taught to paint and draw by Mrs Russell.
A conservatory, a popular feature in England in the 1860s, was built off the north end of the ballroom at an unknown date believed to be in the 1880s. Many opulent houses constructed in the colony between the 1879 and 1905 incorporated conservatories. Conservatories extended the range of exotic ornamental plants available and provided a discreet withdrawing place or a place for the serving of afternoon tea. They dwindled in popularity after the turn of the century as plant fashions changed in favour of more hardy outdoor varieties and as labour became scarce after 1914.
The grounds at Marivare incorporated a sweeping drive and fine trees. These reflected J. B. Russell’s long interest in landscape gardening and horticulture; and the rivalry of several of Epsom’s garden-conscious nineteenth-century professional gentlemen and merchants. The property was extensively replanted and landscaped with species including Spanish oaks grown from acorns collected by Russell while in California. He also reintroduced native trees into Marivare’s landscape. Three tennis courts and a croquet lawn provided an active focus to social life, while a small farm largely met household food needs other than for meat. Garden parties were given every summer and the grounds were sometimes the venue for charity fetes. Climbing species including roses were trained along Marivare’s verandahs.
In 1891, the lower floor of Marivare’s return verandah and the conservatory were tiled by the expert Giacond family from Italy. Russell suffered deteriorating health from 1892, and travelled to England for medical treatment where he died in February 1894.
Occupation of Marivare by J. B. Russell’s descendants (1896-1957)
In 1896 Marivare was sold to the Russells’ eldest daughter, Ada Mary Nolan Carr (1863-1936) and her husband Richard Anthony Carr (c.1856-1910). Carr was a general merchant dealing largely in Asian, Pacific Island and New Zealand produce and was also a director of the South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company. Following her husband’s death in 1910, Ada Carr subdivided the allotments adjoining Lot 10 occupied by Marivare. Mrs Carr, who was an original member of the Auckland branch of the Victoria League established in 1909, donated (subject to the preservation of the oak trees planted by J. B. Russell) land at the corner of Ranfurly and Manukau Roads in 1919 as a memorial to local soldiers who died in the First World War (1914-18). Ada Carr was evidently a gifted watercolour artist who exhibited her work in London and donated the proceeds to charities.
Marivare, described in 1918 valuation records as a wood and brick home of 14 rooms and a freestanding motor shed, was modified in 1923 when a portion of the dwelling was removed at a cost of £180. In 1936, the property was purchased by the Carrs’ elder son, Stanley who had served in Gallipoli and the Egyptian campaign. There was still a tennis court on the property in 1941-2, and in 1944 a timber addition designed by architect M. K. Draffin was constructed to accommodate a more modern kitchen.
Subsequent history (1957 - )
A five-lot subdivision was undertaken in 1957. Marivare now occupied a rear site and was sold ending the Russell family’s seventy five year association with the home.
Purchasers Graham and Mary Connell commenced their seven-year ownership by converting Marivare into eight apartments. This involved the removal of some interior joinery and wall linings which were stored. Although new partition walls divided the ballroom into three rooms and a passage, the existing layout of the house was largely retained along with internal fittings such as fireplaces, and finishes including the painted scenes on ballroom door panels. The ballroom and conservatory became the owners’ flat, served by a bathroom developed in an adjoining room. The rest of the ground floor consisted of three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a kitchen dining area.
On the first floor were four bedrooms, men’s and women’s bathrooms, and two kitchens each with two stoves. Partition walls and a further window were introduced in the southwest room to form the two bathrooms.
The overall impact of the conversion to flats was limited. Additional kitchen and bathroom facilities were fitted into existing spaces which avoided the need to take out walls. Comparatively little material was removed, enabling the survival of features such as nineteenth-century tiling in the scullery and stove recess. Externally the building retained its earlier appearance. In 1965, Ranfurly Apartments Limited bought the property.
Antique dealer David Brown commenced a seventeen-year association with Marivare in 1978. During this period the conservatory was restored and the ballroom was re-roofed. Removal of the glassed-in portion of the upper verandah at an unknown time after the 1960s-70s may also have occurred during his ownership. By 1984 Marivare had fourteen occupants.
Purchased by new owners in 1995, Marivare again reverted to a single residence. The internal alterations linked with conversion to flats were carefully reversed to recover the building’s nineteenth- and early twentieth-century features and finishes, including an anaglyptic frieze and joinery with early paintwork in the ballroom. The mid twentieth-century kitchen was updated. A nineteenth-century Shacklock range was fitted into the former cooking alcove of the earlier kitchen. The former scullery in the stair space was converted to a bathroom that retained surviving nineteenth-century white tiled walls. Stored joinery mouldings are currently being reinstated (2010) in the ballroom, the only room that remains to be restored. The property remains in use as a private residence.
- Original Construction: 1862 (circa) - 1865 (circa)
- Modification: 1882 (circa) - 1884 (circa)
- Addition: 1880 - 1889
- Modification: 1891 (circa)
- Modification - Part of upstairs verandah in west portion of house enclosed; Demolition of musicians’ gallery in ballroom.: Unknown
- Addition: 1944 (circa)
- Modification: 1957 (circa)
- Modification - Removal of glassed-in part of upstairs verandah: Unknown
- Modification - Conservatory restored; ballroom re-roofed: Post-1978
- Modification - Reinstatement as family home; provision of new bathroom facilities, kitchen (1944) modernised: Post-1987
Timber piles, scoria rubble foundation walls, timber construction and weatherboard cladding, slate roof, (1860s residence)
Concrete foundation walls, rendered brick construction, corrugated metal roof (1880s addition); Timber construction, corrugated metal roof (1944 addition).
- W. D. Borrie, Immigration to New Zealand 1854-1938, Canberra, 1991
- G.W.A Bush, (ed.), The History of Epsom, Auckland, 2006
- Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol.2, Christchurch, 1902
- Bee Dawson, A History of Gardening in New Zealand, Auckland, 2010
- John Field & John Stacpoole, Victorian Auckland, Auckland, 1973
- T. Hodgson, The Big House: Grand & Opulent Houses In Colonial New Zealand, Random, Auckland, 1991
- Rev. William Morley, The History of Methodism in New Zealand, Wellington, 1900
- Una Platts, The Lively Capital: Auckland 1840-1865, Christchurch, 1971
- John Stacpoole, Colonial Architecture in New Zealand, Wellington, 1976
- John Stacpoole, The Houses of the Merchant Princes, Auckland, 1989
- R. C. J. Stone, Makers of Fortune: A Colonial Business Community and its Fall, Auckland, 1973
- R. C. J. Stone, The Making of Russell McVeigh: The First 125 Years of the Practice of Russell McVeigh McKenzie Bartleet & Co. 1863-1988, Auckland, 1991
A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Northern Region Office.
Report Written By
this page is correct to the best of the Trust's knowledge. If you have any additional
information you would like to share with the Trust, please
contact the Registrar.
You may wish to contact the Trust to view our paper records.