Topic: Kirkby-Medley Residence, 31 Waipapa Road (circa 1850s)

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31 Waipapa Road 2019

2019 View: By Hamish Crimp

The early history of this cottage is somewhat unclear, although it seems likely that it was constructed by or for Walter John Morrison on Town Section 2077 (present site of 256 Courtenay Street) during the 1850s, and then relocated to neighbouring Town Section 2076 (present site of 250 D & E Courtenay Street) for Margery Kirkby during the early 1900s.

Skinner’s 1880 Map shows a cottage on the front of Town Section 2077, with DP1657, surveyed in mid-1901, showing the western side of that building, including what appears to be one of the distinctive front ‘wings’ or ’gables’.

Town Section 2077 was purchased by insurance agent Arthur Vaughan Wynn Kirkby in March 1896. Arthur died in 1902, and the property was transferred to the trustees of his estate, his wife Margery, and C. M. Lepper. 

In June 1904, Town Section 2077 was purchased by grocer Allan Veale – it is unclear if the cottage was still present on the section at this time, but it would seem likely that it had already been relocated next door to Town Section 2076.

A permit was granted to Veale for the construction of a residence on Town Section 2077 on 14 October 1904, with Frank Messenger the architect, and the estimated construction cost being £400 – this was a double-gabled villa, and was either removed from the section or demolished during the 1960s-70s.

The NPBC Rates Book for 1900-01 notes Mrs E. M. King as the ratepayer for Town Sections 2073-2076, and a house is noted as being present on the section, the property is valued at £14. The house present at this time is clearly indicated on DP1657 and is a large structure occupying Town Sections 2074 and 2075, with only a small shed shown as being present on Town Section 2076.

The NPBC Rates Book for 1901-02 still notes Mrs E. M. King as the ratepayer for Town Sections 2073-2076, and a house is noted as being present on the section, the property is again valued at £14. However, during this rating year, the recently subdivided property was sold, with Town Section 2076 being purchased by Arthur Kirkby.

The NPBC Rates Book for 1902-03 notes Arthur Kirkby as the ratepayer for both Town Sections 2076 and 2077 – 2077 is noted as with house and no dwelling is noted as being present on Section 2076 – the combined value of the sections is £26.

The NPBC Rates Book for 1903-04 notes Margery Kirkby as the ratepayer for both Town Sections 2076 and 2077, a house is noted as being present, and the combined rateable value is still £26. However, during this rating year it is noted that Town Section 2077 was transferred to Allan Veale.

The NPBC Rates Book for 1904-05 notes Margery Kirkby as the ratepayer for only Town Section 2076, with a house present, and a rateable value of £26.

Margery Kirkby remained living in the house until her death on 4 December 1942 – she is buried n Te Henui Cemetery. The house was soon purchased by John S. Medley, with the house remaining in the Medley Family until after the house was relocated to its present site in 2006.

See: Taranaki Land Deeds Index I1, page 574 

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