Topic: 187 Cowling Road (mid-late 1800s/1903)

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187 Cowling Road 2017

2017 View: By Hamish Crimp

This large home has been a prominent feature of upper Cowling Road for over a century. The current dwelling appears to consist of a Nineteenth Century farmhouse, and a 1903 'addition'. 

The wooden building is clad in rusticated weatherboard, with brick chimney, and distinctive sash windows with a divided coloured glass pane above; unfortunately, the original front gable windows on both floors have been replaced with brown aluminium windows. Inside, the staircase, and original solid wood doors with rim locks survive. 

The original section of the home was probably constructed in the mid-late Nineteenth Century - it has been suggested the original farmhouse on this section was destroyed in the Taranaki Wars. At least part of the front section of the house was likely constructed in 1903, when noted architect John Arthur Maisey called for tenders for "alterations and additions to residence at Westown for Mr Monro".

The property became the 'Merryvale' Poultry Farm from 1901 until about 1909; it seems to have been run by H. C. Monro and was well known. Note that the current name for the farm is 'Merivale' - it appears the spelling has changed at some stage.

Section 477 Grey District was originally granted to 'Looney' in 1866.; purchased by Arthur Standish in 1877; on-sold it to John Hawke in 1878; purchased by T. S. McKeown in 1892; purchased by land agent Thomas Wright in October 1900, and on-sold to W. Ellerm in November 1900; purchased by A. J. Monro in May 1901; sold to A. R. Gudopp in May 1916 - the property remains in the Gudopp family in 2017 (an impressive 101 years).

The home and surrounding farmland is currently (November 2017) for sale in a number of different lots.

See Taranaki Land Deeds Index I2 page 308 and I14 page 160. Also DP884. 

Architect John Arthur Maisey

Maisey was born in 1860 in Birmingham England, where he practiced for a number of years. He arrived in New Plymouth with his family in 1897 and farmed on Barrett Road for several years, selling his farm in June 1900, and moving into New Plymouth soon after. Maisey is not well known in New Plymouth, although he apparently designed a significant number of local buildings (most notably the 1904 New Plymouth Exhibition Buildings - a 'temporary' structure located on Poverty Flat/St Michael's Square), before shifting to Wellington in early 1905. In Wellington Maisey practiced in partnership with Henry Johns from 1905 until his retirement in 1908 - in just three years Maisey and John designed over 40 buildings.

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