Topic: 'Fishleigh Cottage' 20 Aubrey Street (1856-57)

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Fishleigh Cottage, July 2016

 2017 View: By Hamish Crimp

Note: The cottage has recently been sold, and demolition seems likely - it doesn't have a Heritage NZ listing or Category A listing with NPDC, although archaeological authority will likely be required for any alteration to the building, or for earthworks on the section.

An advertisement in the Taranaki Herald dated 14 February 1857 states that a four-roomed cottage on Town Section 188, newly built, with stone chimney, and a good stream of water is for sale by owner Samuel Fishleigh. This dates the cottage to late 1856 or early 1857 making it one of New Plymouth's oldest buildings. The board and batten cottage is in its original location - even the stone fireplace has survived (although the brick portion was removed recently and has been replaced with a modern flue). The cottage also retains its two original twelve-light double-hung sash windows at the front. There has been a substantial addition on the western side of the cottage (probably in the late 1890s or early 1900s), and the rear portion has at some stage had it's roof height increased. 

Sale of Fishleigh Cottage, TH Sale of Fishleigh Cottage, TH 14 February 1857 

Advertisement from Taranaki Herald of 14 February 1857


Samuel Fishleigh emigrated to New Plymouth on the Amelia Thompson, arriving in 1841; he is listed as a Blacksmith, age 29. He was a founding member of the original Taranaki Club in 1842. He is listed as single on passenger lists, but appears to have married Hannah Francis sometime after arriving in New Zealand. Hannah emigrated on the Pekin in 1849 - she is listed as married on the Pekin passenger lists so perhaps she remarried or there is a mistake in the passenger lists? 

The cottage did not sell in 1857, and appears to have been rented for a time, as an April 1858 advert lists the cottage for let, currently in the occupation of a Mr Coade, Brewer. The cottage remained in Fishleigh’s ownership until 1873, and he may have been living there in 1869 when he complained of the 'overgrowth of furze fences' blocking the roads, 'bounding his property in Aubrey and Edgecumbe Streets'. Samuel Fishleigh died in June 1873, and Hannah in 1891 - they are both listed as being buried in the Te Henui Cemetery in New Plymouth.

As a pre-1900 building, any alterations to the cottage, or earthworks on the section, may require archaeological authority from Heritage New Zealand.

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