Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


2013 A Special Year For Alberton

January 30


2013 A Special Year For Alberton

Alberton – the colonial-era mansion in Mt Albert now cared for by the NZ Historic Places Trust – celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

The farmhouse turned India-inspired country seat was once the centre-piece of a 532 acre country estate which stretched over Mt Albert and Morningside.

Today, Alberton sits on just over an acre of land surrounded by houses – a testimony to Auckland’s heritage of subdivision and urban sprawl. A one-off original, it still retains its strong sense of grandeur, however.

“Alberton was colonial Auckland’s party house – the place where the elite of the day gathered for balls, hunts, garden parties and music,” says the Manager of Alberton, Rendell McIntosh.

“In fact, the first County or Riding Ball held in New Zealand took place in Alberton’s barn in 1877.”

Allan Kerr Taylor – the unofficial ‘squire’ of the area – bought some of the land which eventually became the Alberton estate in 1849 when he was just 16, the purchase funded by his father who was an officer in the Indian Army.

In time, Kerr Taylor’s family allowance was supplemented by sales of land around his estate as the suburbs of Mt Albert and Morningside grew. As Kerr Taylor prospered, Alberton became grander. The arrival of 10 children over the years was also a contributing factor to growth, with the need for more space increasingly becoming an issue.

“Alberton started life as an unprepossessing farmhouse in 1863, though it was transformed into the 18-room mansion we know today in 1872, complete with Oriental-styled decorative verandahs and exotic towers reflecting Allan’s boyhood in India,” says Rendell.

As if to complete the picture of colonial grandeur, the Pakuranga Hunt often rode over Alberton’s spacious grounds, as if recreating a scene from old England.

Few visitors to Alberton would ever guess that the impressive historic mansion was once a hotbed of radicalism – well, almost.

“The house has a strong connection with the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand. Sophia Louisa Taylor – Allan Kerr Taylor’s second wife – was a leading Auckland socialite who became a member of the first committee of the Auckland branch of the Women’s Franchise League,” says Rendell.

“One of the frequent guests at Alberton at that time was Amey Daldy, a fearless campaigner for women’s rights and social justice, as well as Elizabeth Yates who, in 1893, became the Mayor of Onehunga – the first woman Mayor in the British Empire,” says Rendell.

Sophia passed away in 1930, though her three unmarried daughters – Winifred, Millicent and Muriel Kerr Taylor – continued to run what was left of the estate, keeping hens and a cow and making butter in the dairy with equipment that can still be seen today.

Muriel left the house to the NZ Historic Places Trust after she died in 1972.

“Alberton has been open to the public for almost four decades, and is one of Auckland’s most loved historic buildings,” says Rendell.

“We’ll be organising a series of events to mark Alberton’s 150th anniversary, and will be sharing more details on these throughout the year.”

For more information on the opening hours and location of Alberton and other NZHPT properties – as well as celebratory events for Alberton’s 150th anniversary – log on to www.historicplaces.org.nz

* * *

Alberton will kick off its 150th celebrations with a series of Devonshire teas and Classic luncheons

Classic Luncheons – freshly made sandwiches, savouries plus dainty home-made cakes and biscuits: Cost $35pp. 12.30-2pm February 21, 22, 23, 24, 28 and March 1-3.

Devonshire Tea Parties – freshly made sandwiches and scones (with jam and cream topping): Cost $23pp. 2-4pm February 21, 22, 23, 24, 28 and March 1-3. To book email alberton@historic.org.nz or pone 09-846-7367.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news