Mona Vale gatehouse

Built in the style of Gothic Revival, the gatehouse at Mona Vale is an iconic feature of Fendalton Road.

Initially known as Karewa, Mona Vale is sited on land that was originally part of the estate belonging to one of Christchurch’s first European settler families, the Deans. When Fredrick and Alice Waymouth purchased the property, it consisted of approximately four acres.  This was landscaped and developed by Mrs Waymouth, a keen amateur botanist.

In 1905 Annie Quale Townend purchased the property, upon completion of the homestead she renamed the property Mona Vale after her mother’s birth place in Tasmania Australia.  Mrs Townend inherited a considerable sum of money from her father, which she freely lavished on the homestead and its surroundings.

Following her purchase, Annie Townend had a house built for her gatekeeper. The building was designed in the Gothic Revival style of architecture and the England Brothers may have supervised the construction. The inspiration for the gatehouse may have come from the gatehouse at Glenmark Station, Waipara, which was owned by Annie’s father.

The main roofline of the building is orientated north-south and is intersected by an adjoining roofline orientated east-west. Marseilles tiles were used to line the roof and the gables and dormers have decorative finials. The northern façade of the building, which features a bay window, faces Fendalton Road. To the south of the building is an outhouse extension.

The entrance to the building is via a porch on the eastern façade. The ground floor of the building consists of two rooms and a kitchen. A sunporch, possibly added in the 1920s, was built on the western façade. A staircase in the entrance hall leads up to the first floor which consists of three bedrooms and a bathroom.

Following the death of Annie Townend in 1914 the property was purchased by Thomas Hamilton Moore in 1916. Another part of the property was purchase by William Nicholls. The property went through a series of owners until it was purchased by Tracy Gough in 1939 who passed the property to Gough, Gough and Hamer in 1941. The Church of the Latter Day Saints purchased the property in 1962. In 1969 Christchurch City Council and Riccarton Borough Council purchased the property before it was purchased outright by Christchurch City Council.

The widening of Fendalton Road in 1976 required the gates to the Mona Vale property to be relocated further back. As a result, a fence was extended to enclose the gatehouse building on the north east corner.

In 1983 the building was registered as a Category 2 Historic Place by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The building was damaged in the 2011 earthquake. Following this, it underwent a process of reconstruction whereby the brick walls were deconstructed and strengthened with concrete columns. The restoration process was completed by 2018.