Christchurch City Council sought feedback on plans to stabilise and repair James Penfold's c.1870 cottage on Scott Park, near Ferrymead Bridge. This followed drainage works to stop further moisture damage to the historic cottage.
Following delays to this project, the contract is now being finalised and the successful contractor is expected to be on site within the next four weeks.
Work on Penfold’s Cottage is expected to start in October 2019. Detailed design is almost complete and the resource consent process is underway.
After public consultation the Council supported the proposed retention of the existing sod and cob material, together with stabilization works and the installation of a glass enclosure. This will allow people to view the cob structure and building as a whole.
These two recent images represent the intended works showing the retained cob and new glazed enclosure.
Project Update - 25 January 2019
An engineer and conservation architect are now working on detailed design for Penfold's Cob Cottage. Once resource consent and an archaeological authority are received, work is expected to start in about August.
The Council's Heritage Team will begin liaising with the community on interpretation for the cottage this year.
At its meeting on Thursday 5 April 2018 the City Council approved the proposed repairs to Penfold's Cottage.
Council Resolved CNCL/2018/00040
That the Council:
1. Approve Option 1 to stabilise and repair the remaining heritage fabric of Penfold’s Cob Cottage and glaze lost areas.
a. Work with Ferrymead Park Limited to develop a cob trail and cob events to link the Cottage with Ferrymead Park.
b. Work with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the community to develop innovative interpretation to promote the Cottage.
2. Approve the Penfold’s Cob Cottage planned works to commence as soon as possible, owing to the ongoing deterioration to the heritage fibre of the cottage.
Councillor Johanson/Councillor Templeton Carried
Construction will follow the detailed design and consenting phases.
Update 2 March 2018
The Penfold’s cob cottage project is now progressing and a staff report will be considered at the Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board meeting at 10am on Wednesday 14 March 2018. The project was put on hold in October 2017 while staff collated funding information relating to earthquake repairs to heritage buildings across the city for the Council’s draft 2018-2028 Long term Plan.
The report recommends that the Community Board:
a) Work with Ferrymead Park Limited to develop a cob trail and cob events to link the Cottage with Ferrymead Park.
b) Work with Ngāi Tahu and the community to develop innovative interpretation to promote the Cottage.
The agenda for this meeting, including the report and any additional information, can be viewed online from Friday 9 March 2018 on christchurch.infocouncil.biz(external link).
The report is expected to be considered by the Council at its meeting on Thursday 5 April 2018.
The Council's project team received 40 submissions during the consultation phase in July and August 2017. Of these, 32 submitters supported the stabilise and repair option proposed by the project team.
The Council has asked that funding for a number of earthquake repairs to heritage buildings (including Penfold’s Cottage) be put on hold while staff collate funding information relating to earthquake repairs to heritage buildings across the city for the next Long Term Plan.
At the moment staff don’t have any further information about when the report on Penfold’s Cottage will go to the Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board but we will update submitters as soon as we have further details.
Originally constructed of sod blocks, the cottage was badly damaged in the earthquakes. A proposal to stabilise and repair the two-room building will preserve the familiar landmark and provide a unique insight into early earth-building techniques.
The largely intact walls facing Main Road and Ferrymead Bridge will be repaired and will retain the historic street view of the cottage. Remaining walls that are too badly damaged to repair will be enclosed with glass, allowing visitors to see how the cottage was constructed and repaired, and how it was affected by the earthquakes.
Artist impressions of the proposed option are shown below.
For 600 years Ngāi Tahu (and their predecessors Ngāti Māmoe and Waitaha) used the present Main Road as a travelling route, a place of settlement and as a significant mahinga kai (resource and food gathering) area.
It became a key thoroughfare for European settlers in the mid-19th century. James Penfold leased the land in 1870 and built the cottage using sod blocks. The former captain of the vessel Excelsior, and then labourer on the new railway, lived there with his family until about 1878. They then they moved to Southbridge.
Between 1940–44 the cottage was largely rebuilt by Ernest Parish, with help from the Mt Pleasant Burgess’s Association and the Mount Pleasant Boating Club. Unable to find suitable sods, Ernest Parish reconstructed the building in cob.
In December 1944, 7000 people attended the reopening of the cottage, a memorial to the Canterbury Pioneers.
Two years later Scott Brothers Ltd gave the cottage and its surroundings to Christchurch City Council for ‘the health, amusement and instruction of the public’.
The cottage was again repaired by Ernest Parish in 1948 after it was badly damaged by fire. Further repairs to the cottage were carried out in the 1980s (cob) and 1990s (clay blocks).
Listed in the Christchurch District Plan as a significant heritage item, the cottage has architectural and aesthetic significance as 'a rare Christchurch example of an earth building, a method of construction once used quite extensively in Canterbury and Marlborough'. Some original sod courses remain at the lower levels.
The design, a symmetrical single storey structure with a single gabled roof, is typical of the 19th century workers’ cottages.
Proposed option - road frontage
Proposed option - rear
Option 1. Stabilise and repair in current damaged state, and interpretation.
Option 2. Deconstruct and reconstruct, and interpretation.
Options 3 & 4. Options to ‘Do nothing’ and ‘Deconstruction’.
These options were not pursued as they would result in the complete loss of the cottage and its contribution to the understanding of the area’s history.
Following consultation, a summary of responses will be prepared and included in a report to be considered by the Linwood–Central–Heathcote Community Board in October. Those who provide feedback will receive the response summary, as well as details of the October 2017 meeting.
If the proposed plans to repair and stabilise the cottage are approved, detailed designs will be developed. These will be implemented from July 2018, when project funding will be available.