Richhistory of original Mt Albert home
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.
Alberton was originally a farm house on 500 acres that stretched as far as Western Springs.