Historic Place Category 2
Formerly located at 61 Nile Street, Nelson, the house was relocated to 10 Wensley Road, Nelson, in 1988.
Sec 246 District of Waimea East (CT 6A/1093), Nelson Land District
Extent of Registration
Registration includes the buidling, its fixtures and land in certificate of title 6A/1093, Nelson Registry, Section 246 District of Waimea East.
Constructed at 61 Nile Street in the 1920s, Kershaw House is a noteworthy example of the English suburban style and features Art Deco influences. The House is a two-storied, weatherboard home with corrugated iron roofing. It has an elaborate interior, with the main door opening up to reveal an wood-panelled entranceway and staircase. The stairs lead to an Art Deco style stained-glass bay window on the staircase landing. The window features geometric patterns, most notably diamond shapes, which are highlighted by the use of filigree lead. Phillips and Maclean (1983:95) state that although the bevels give the windows a jewel-like quality, the design has a mathematic precision. In its symmetry and repetition, the window reflects the logic and order of a machine-age world. However, there is a flaw in the top corner of the right-hand window as the leadline curves to the left instead of the right as in the other windows. Phillips and Maclean (1983:95) conclude that this was either a deliberate act of rebellion on the part of the artist or a simple mistake.
Little historical information is available about the original owners of Kershaw House. From 1944 or 1945 it was occupied by the prominent Nelson doctor, David Collingwood Low. Low remained there until the early 1980s. His surgery was located along the side of the house in a room marked 'games room' on the plans and his dispensary was situated in what is now the office.
In the 1980s a large area of Nelson central was earmarked for demolition, in preparation for the construction of the new Regional Polytechnic campus. In 1988 the then owner D.G. McLean obtained consent to relocate Kershaw House to 10 Wensley Road. The entire house was successfully relocated in five pieces. Kershaw House was converted in 2003 to a luxury bed and breakfast operation with four en-suite guest
Kershaw House has historical significance through its association with Doctor David Collingwood Low, an important figure in Nelson medical history.
Kershaw House is a grand example of residential architecture. It was built during the 1920s and exhibits features of the English suburban style such as bold roof shapes and large 'picture' windows. The most significant aspect of Kershaw House is the Art Deco stained glass bay window on the staircase landing.
Summary of Assessed Criteria
(b) 'The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history'
Kershaw House is associated with Doctor D.C. Low who lived at the property from 1944/1945 to the early 1980s. Doctor D.C. Low is considered to have been a health leader in the Nelson region; he was responsible for the establishment of the Nelson branch of the St John Ambulance Association in 1931 and held various posts including chairman of the hospital board and president of the New Zealand section of the British Medical Association. Doctor D.C. Low worked as a general practitioner from 1928 to 1977 and his surgery and dispensary were located at Kershaw House.
(g) 'The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place'
Kershaw House has an elaborate Art Deco stained glass bay window on the staircase landing which shows considerable craftsmanship.
Built in the 1920s, Kershaw House is a fine example of English suburban style. The intricately designed Art Deco stained-glass bay window is the 'showpiece' of the home. On the ground floor there is an extensive wood-panelled entranceway. This entranceway leads to an oak staircase with panels continuing right along the wall to the top of the stairs on the first floor. There are casement windows throughout the house - many of which share the same design of one large pane bordered by two, three, or four small panes along the top. The top floor of Kershaw House has been converted to bed and breakfast accommodation with four en-suite guest rooms.
- Original Construction: 1921 (circa) - 1927 (circa)
- Relocation: 1988 (circa)
- Modification: 1994 (circa)
The house exterior is clad in weatherboard and there is corrugated iron roofing at both the ground floor and first floor level.
A full referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Central Region Office
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