Grubb Cottage

Grubb Cottage, built in 1851, is a colonial cottage situated at 62 London Street, Lyttelton.

Grubb Cottage, Lyttelton
Grubb Cottage. Photographer (pht): Cafe Cecil, Contributor (ctb): Cafe Cecil. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

In 1851 John Grubb purchased Town Section 45 in Lyttelton. Following the arrival of his wife and family in December of that year, Grubb started to construct a simple, two storey colonial box cottage. Facing east, the exterior was clad in rimu and kahikatea weatherboards, while the floor boards were kauri. The cottage consisted of a kitchen and living room on the ground floor and two bedrooms on the upper floor.

In 1864-1868 an addition to this cottage was built facing south on to London Street. This addition also conformed to the box cottage style with gables at the eastern and western ends. The ground floor featured a central passage with a sitting room on the west and a bedroom on the east. The upper floor consisted of three bedrooms. The front façade featured a bull nose verandah and on the upper floor, a gable.

In 1900 the cottage passed to John’s son, James Grubb. Following the death of James in 1917, the property passed to his daughter, Mary. At the time, however, John Grubb junior and his wife, Tothilla (Tottie), lived in the cottage. John Grubb junior died in 1939, and in 1948 Tottie married Thomas Parker. She lived in the cottage until her death in 1961.

In that year the property was purchased by Frederick Corbett and Victor Empson. Ownership then passed to Errol Jean Kane in May 1961, before being transferred to Ernest Eric Fuller in October 1961 and then finally to Laura Fuller, Irenie Cross, Lance Cross and Julian Cross in equal shares. The house remained unoccupied. In 1996 it was registered as a Category 2 Historic Place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

In 2006 Christchurch City Council purchased Grubb Cottage and it was placed in the care of the Grubb Cottage Heritage Trust. The trust oversaw the conservation of the cottage, with the restoration work carried out by Fulton Ross Team Architects.

The cottage reopened in June 2013 and is currently open to the public on Saturday mornings.