Rich­his­tory of orig­i­nal Mt Al­bert home

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - HUGH COLLINS

Auck­land’s Al­ber­ton house is home to many com­mu­nity events but its rich his­tory is not widely known.

With its dis­tinc­tive tow­ers, the prop­erty at 100 Mt Al­bert road was built in 1863 by farmer Al­lan Kerr Tay­lor.

Born in In­dia to Bri­tish par­ents in 1832, Tay­lor mi­grated to New Zealand from Scot­land at 16 years old to join his broth­ers who had es­tab­lished Glen Innes and Glen­dowie farms in Auck­land.

The house was built on a 200 hectare prop­erty that Tay­lor first pur­chased when he ar­rived. The prop­erty at the time stretched as a far as mod­ern day Western Springs.

He mar­ried twice, his first wife dy­ing in child­birth, and went on to have 10 chil­dren with his sec­ond, two of whom died young.

The house evolved grad­u­ally with ex­ten­sions in the 1870s which in­cluded the In­dian styled tow­ers that were de­signed by an ar­chi­tect who drew in­flu­ence from Tay­lor’s birth place.

The house con­tains many rooms in­clud­ing a ball­room, li­brary and a sewing room along with a wash-house and dairy shed. House man­ager Ren­dell McIn­tosh said the prop­erty was a fo­cus point of the area.

‘‘Peo­ple can’t com­pre­hend be­cause it looks very grand and very re­gal and they think it was a big flash man­sion but it wasn’t, it was al­ways a work­ing farm house,’’ McIn­tosh said.

There are more than 9000 orig- inal fam­ily items in the home some of which re­main on pub­lic dis­play.

In 1972 the house was gifted by the last of Al­lan’s 10 chil­dren to Her­itage New Zealand.

‘‘She re­alised the im­por­tance of it that not only Auck­lan­ders should see a farm house still in its can pro­tect and en­hance things so that peo­ple get the ex­pe­ri­ence of what it was like as a farm house.’’

To­day the prop­erty hosts com­mu­nity events and is used for film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions.

Al­ber­ton can be ex­plored from Wed­nes­day to Sun­day for a $10 en­try fee.

JA­SON OXENHAM/FAIR­FAX NZ

Al­ber­ton was orig­i­nally a farm house on 500 acres that stretched as far as Western Springs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.