Historic Place Category 1
Pt Res 19 Chch City
The construction of the first St Luke's Church began in 1859, on one of the five church reserves set aside by the Canterbury Association, the organisation that planned the settlement of Christchurch. It was the second church in the parish of Christchurch and was built to accommodate the overflow from St Michael and All Angels and for members of the Anglican congregation who lived on the north side of the Avon. As Christchurch prospered during the 1860s, a number of wealthier citizens moved out to the northern edges of the town. The new St Luke's parish (established 1868) encompassed 'all that part of the original Parish of Christchurch, lying to the north of a line drawn from the College down the middle of Colombo Street, thence along Armagh Street to the East Town Belt.'
The establishment of a separate parish required the appointment of a clergyman, and the provision of accommodation for him. St Luke's Vicarage was originally built as a residence for the Reverend Edward Atherton Lingard and his family. The size of the vicarage, and the provision of servants' quarters reflect both the wealth of the parish and the social status of the vicar.
St Luke's Vicarage was designed by the British architect Robert Speechly, who had been appointed to supervise the building of Christchurch Cathedral in 1864. However, lack of funding for the cathedral soon halted work on it. Speechly, assisted by his pupil and later his partner, William Fitzjohn Crisp, worked out the remainder of his four-year contract supervising other buildings undertaken for the Anglican Church Property Trustees. Such buildings included St Luke's Vicarage as well as Christ's College Chapel (1867) and St Mary's Church in Merivale (1866).
The vicarage is a large timber house, with Speechly's distinctive hoods over the ground floor windows and entrance. Ian Lochhead has said of the vicarage that it is 'one of the best and least modified examples of the Ecclesiologically inspired vicarage in New Zealand.' Under the influence of British architects closely associated with the Ecclesiological movement, a 'simple, earnest, moral Gothic architecture', Gothic in detail, but adapted for nineteenth-century needs and made from local materials, became seen as particularly appropriate for parsonages in the mid Victorian era. At St Luke's Vicarage, Speechly and Crisp reinterpreted these ideas using the plentiful New Zealand building material, wood. The vicarage is an important example of the adaptation of a English ideal to New Zealand conditions. Despite the ideals that prompted the design, the local history of the parish records that most vicars and their families found it an inconvenient building to live in.
St Luke's Vicarage illustrates elements of Christchurch's religious and social history. It is significant architecturally as one of the best preserved examples of Speechly's domestic work, and as a New Zealand vicarage inspired by the nineteenth-century Ecclesiological movement. In conjunction with St Luke's Church it forms an important part of the local landscape.
The vicarage is illustrative of religious and social aspects of New Zealand history. It is believed to be the oldest Anglican vicarage in New Zealand in continuous use.
The vicarage is one of the best and least modified of the Ecclesiologically inspired vicarages in New Zealand. Sources for the design are the vicarages of English Gothic Revival architects such as William Butterfield and George Edmund Street. Their designs, in turn, are based on the late medieval tradition of vernacular building which was being rediscovered in nineteenth-century England and actively promoted by the Ecclesiological Society. Speechly and Crisp have taken such ideas and translated them into the local vernacular building material of wood. The vicarage therefore represents an important adaptation of the English domestic model to local New Zealand conditions.
The hoods are particularly characteristic of Speechly's style and occur often in his buildings even before his partnership with Crisp. St Luke's vicarage is the best preserved of the Speechly domestic designs and is an excellent example of his style.
The vicarage forms part of the streetscape but does not have landmark significance.
At the time of its registration by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga the St Luke's Vicarage was believed to be the oldest Anglican vicarage in New Zealand still functioning as such. It is now used as offices.
The vicarage was built as a residence for the vicar of St Lukes, the Reverend E.A. Lingard and his family. St Lukes had become a parish in 1867. Both Lingard and his successor Rev. W.W. Sedgewick were men of considerable standing and influence in the community and mixed socially with the elite landowning parishioners. The vicarage, large in scale and with servant's quarters, reflects the affluence of the parish.
A prominent Ngai Tahu chief, Tautahi, was buried near the site of the present St Luke's Vicarage around the 1750s.
The hoods over the entrance and windows.
The vicarage is a domestic Gothic building. It is symmetrical in composition with jutting bays, irregular roof-line and bold chimneys. The entrance is hooded as are most ground floor windows, matching the verandahs on that level. The windows are mullioned and transomed. Apart from the decorative diagonal boarding on the porch, there is little ornamentation. The vicarage achieves a picturesque effect through its outline and the contrasting dark hoods and roof against the white weatherboards and verandah posts.
In the formal entrance three metre high walls support a beamed and panelled ceiling of heavy stained timber. The entrance hall is separated from the hall proper by a large Gothic arch. The timber staircase leading to the upstairs rooms has a moulded handrail, which stops about halfway up the stair, to reappear at the top around the wide landing to function as a balustrade. The landing at the top of the stairs is unusually large with many rooms opening off it. The original servant bell-pulls still exist throughout the house.
c1870c Hood added over study window
c1880s North wing added
post 1909 Corrugated iron on roof
- Modification - Post 1909 - Corrugated iron on roof: post-1909
- Original Construction: 1867 (circa) - 1868 (circa)
- Modification: 1870
- Addition - North wing added: 1880s
Weatherboard exterior; corrugated iron roof originally shingles; brick chimney.
- Mollie Chalklen, 'The Church to the North of the River Avon' : S.Luke the Evangelist 125 Years of Praise and Thanksgiving, Christchurch, 1985
- Mollie Chalklen, 'The Church to the North of the River Avon' : S.Luke the Evangelist 125 Years of Praise and Thanksgiving, Christchurch, 1985,Ian Lochhead, 'S. Luke's Church and Vicarage: An Architectural Note', in Mollie Chalklen, 'The Church to the North of the River Avon' : S.Luke the Evangelist 125 Years of Praise and Thanksgiving, Christchurch, 1985, pp.69-71, pp.70-71
- Weekly Press,Photographs 20 October 1909
- J.A. Hendry (text) and A.J. Mair (drawings), Homes of the Pioneers, Christchurch, 1968.
- The Church Quarterly Paper,Diocese of Christchurch, October 1864, Vol III, No 4
- University of Canterbury,Manuscript Papers 193
- G.R. MacDonald, Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies, Canterbury Museum, n.d.
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
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