Topic: Cottage, 389 Selwyn Street, Addington

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The cottage at 389 Selwyn Street is an example of a colonial dwelling in a vernacular architectural style built in the 1880s.

The dwelling at 389 Selwyn Street reflects the development of the suburb of Addington in the latter part of the 19th century.

The land on which the cottage stands was originally part of Rural Section 72 – some 150 acres bounded by Moorhouse Avenue, Selwyn and Jerold Streets and Lincoln Road. Rural Section 72 was sold to Henry Sewell of the Canterbury Association in 1863 and later transferred to Edward Stevens who subdivided it and sold part of the section to Andrew Neill. The colonial cottage adjacent to 389 Selwyn Street was originally on the same land parcel until the cottages were further subdivided in to two separate lots in 1913. The cottages at 389 and 391 Selwyn  Street have a long and intertwined history. Both dwellings were likely built between 1874 and 1881 for Andrew Neill, a labourer, of Christchurch. Neill’s name appears on the certificate of title from 1874 until the time of his death in 1905. The cottage at 389 Selwyn Street along with the neighbouring cottage were then passed to his children Eliza Down (nee Neill) and James Neill and remained in the ownership of the Neill family until 1967 - a total of 93 years.

In 1967, 389 Selwyn Street (as well as the dwelling at 391 Selwyn Street) was bought by Kenneth Wasson. Roger and Barbara Kershaw owned both cottages from 1977 to 1981, at which time the cottages were sold independently for the first time. In 1996 the properties were reunited in one family ownership when Malcolm and Judith Douglass bought  the cottage at 389 Selwyn Street; their daughter Joanna owned 391 Selwyn Street. The Douglass’ carried out extensive restoration work to both cottages and the properties were auctioned together as a package in 2000.

The cottage at 389 Selwyn Street is an example of a colonial dwelling in a vernacular architectural style. The dwelling is a single-storey cottage constructed on a timber frame with lapped weatherboards and an iron roof. The gabled roof aligns to the street frontage on a long narrow section. The façade is symmetrical, with a central door flanked by double hung sash windows and a straight veranda carried on simple posts. A lean-to is sited at the rear of the cottage and a new garage was erected on the property in 1996. An attic room accessed by a ladder is still extant inside the dwelling.

The dwelling and its setting at 389 Selwyn Street has significance because of its association to the neighbouring cottage at 391 and other cottages in the Addington area. Sitting side by side, the cottages at 389 and 391 Selwyn Street have an interesting dual history. After the Neill family, there has only been a short period of time when the cottages have not been in the same family ownership. The design of both cottages was identical at the time of construction and the similarity of their facades enhances the streetscape value and aesthetic continuity of other cottages in the immediate vicinity. The cottage at 383 Selwyn Street, which is also listed, is of a similar style, size and date of construction, as was 387 Selwyn Street before it was demolished.


Heritage New Zealand Listing: Historic place # 3700

Christchurch District Plan  - Heritage Item Statement of Significance - Heritage Item Number 492

Christchurch District Plan  - Heritage Items and Settings Aerial Map

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Cottage, 389 Selwyn Street, Addington

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Cottage, 389 Selwyn Street, Addington by Cecil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License