Historic Hadleigh - closed
- Irreparably damaged in the Christchurch Earthquake - demolished April 2011 - photos below of the devastation
See the new Hadleigh Boutique Lodge ,Waikato North Island
Article by Dave Welch – STANN St Albans News about the historic Hadleigh pre earthquake
Local House Sympathetically Enhanced
Jon and Shirley Warring, owners of historic St Albans house "Hadleigh" on the corner of Springfield Road and Eversleigh Street have done some major renovations. Far from desecrating a piece of local history, the renovations aimed to enhance the Springfield Road frontage and are totally in style with the character of the house.
When there is talk of historic buildings peoples thoughts often turn to the buildings of the Victorian era and particularly the gothic style used in the design of many of Christchurch's public buildings. However there are many fine buildings of later eras such as "Hadleigh". Built very much in the Arts and Crafts style, this movement is to some extent a turn of the century revolt against the over elaborate, over ornamental buildings of the gothic period. Inspired by William Morris and others it represented a return to simpler more harmonious proportions, the flowing ornamentation was intended to reflect functional form and good craftsmanship.
"Hadleigh" which epitomises all these trends was designed in England by the architect Voysey (and is said to closely resemble his own home in Hertfordshire) and built here under the supervision of a renown NZ architect Samuel Hurst Seager.
The large house is two storeyed, double brick with a pebble-dash coating and Marseilles tile roof, with diamond paned windows. Most of the living areas, including the spacious entrance hall are wood panelled. The house was built for the Wood's, a wealthy merchant family in 1904 but in the 1930's passed into the ownership of leading local architect J.G. Collins. Collins enhanced the house by carving appropriately styled ornamental Kauri lintels for the tops of all the door-ways. Later he converted "Hadleigh" into four flats. Astoundingly he had the fore-sight and care to not only design the flats in a way that would do least damage to the integrity of the house, but also save the door mouldings etc he had to remove. These were preserved for fifty years in a shed and when Dave and Betty Purdue bought "Hadleigh" in the 70's they were able to replace these when restoring "Hadleigh" back to a single house.
Although new bathrooms were added, one bathroom retains the original tub. The late John Brittan, famous motorcycle designer, made a tubular frame to hold a marbelised porcelain basin of the period as well as a brass shade for the billiard table.
For some years now "Hadleigh" has been a very elegant bed and breakfast, able to offer visitors a special treat in fine accommodation in a quiet setting. Jon and Shirley's renovations enhance that role and the historical character of "Hadleigh".
Then there was the Christchurch Earthquakes
The article above was written prior to the first of the devastating earthquakes that struck Christchurch at 3.47a.m. September 4th 2010.
The photos below depict some of the damage and the ultimate demolition of this beautiful heritage building. “Hadleigh” survived the first event in relatively good shape despite being constructed of unreinforced masonry. Apparently the large corner buttresses held the building steady, although the tall three and four pot chimneys fell with thunderous crashes, one through the roof metres from where we were sleeping, another into the garden, the third teetered precariously. The walls cracked, ceilings caved in and items were of course irrevocably broken. The structural engineer estimated there was some NZ$400,000 of damage.
Despite on going after shocks, a team of dedicated builders and tradespeople set to repairing the damaged roof and infrastructure, steel bars were inserted to strengthen and add support to the brick walls. In all, around NZ$200,000 had been spent when the massive February 22nd ‘quake struck at around 12.51pm.
Unlike previous aftershocks, there was no warning ‘roar’, the usual swaying motion was replaced, this time by a violent upward thrust. The tremendous G forces hoisted all 500 tonnes of “Hadleigh” skyward, then she fell back most ungraciously. Walls exploded, the aforementioned steel bracing popped out like toothpicks, the contractors who were working upstairs, ably assisted by Holly the lab, suddenly found themselves cantilevered in space as the outer walls fell into the garden . Jon and I were preparing lunch in the kitchen, a relatively new conservatory extension. We were thrown to the floor, the entire contents of the kitchen followed, heavy items such as the microwave, kettle etc flew past at speed, we anticipated the glass roof would be next, thankfully not. On later inspection we saw that the conservatory had detached from the house, but fortunately for us, one vital beam held firm. All on site, were safe, no serious injuries or lives lost.
That which followed deserves more than I can record here. Suffice to say, we are indebted to the assistance received from friends, members of Porsche Club NZ , neighbours and folk who just came off the street to lend a hand. As previously mentioned, the wonderful messages of support from those we hosted over the years helped so much to buoy our spirits.
Ultimately we had to let ‘”Hadleigh” go, no life support system was ever going to save her. We have since been able to provide the Canterbury Museum with some artefacts, including carved kauri lintels, records, documents and photos pertaining to the buildings heritage. These will be displayed in the Social History section of the Museum, it is heartening to think that a little of the original “Hadleigh” lives on.