Alberton, Auckland

Alberton is a 19th-century house in Mount Albert, Auckland, New Zealand, which is listed by Heritage New Zealand as a Category I structure. The house was built in the 1860s for the Garlick family, major figures in the Methodist community in Mount Albert, later becoming a hub for the Plunket Society in the 1940s and a community centre.

Alberton in Auckland.jpg
General information
Address100 Mt Albert Road, Mt Albert, Auckland
CountryNew Zealand
Coordinates36°53′24″S 174°43′29″E / 36.890017°S 174.724626°E / -36.890017; 174.724626
Designated4 April 1983
Reference no.26


The original farmhouse design of Alberton, seen before 1875

Alberton was established as a property for New Zealand landowner Allan Kerr Taylor in the 1849. In 1863, Kerr Taylor had a farmhouse constructed on the property as a centre-point for his 203 hectare estate. The house was rebuilt in the 1870s by architect Matthew Henderson, into an elaborate country manor influenced by Anglo-Indian architecture.[1][2] Recently widowed, he married the 18-year-old Sophia Taylor in 1865.[3]

The Kerr Taylor family hosted a wide number of formal social events at their property, including the first Mount Albert County Ball on 20 September 1877, an annual party for the children of St. Luke's Sunday school, and meetings of the Pakuranga Hunting Club.[4] Alberton was the venue for the 1883 Citizen's Ball, held for Governor William Jervois and his wife Lucy.[4] In 1890, Kerr Taylor died, while the Alberton house and farm were still highly mortgaged.[5] Sophia Taylor continued to administer the estate, and experienced many obstacles as a woman landowner.[3] Taylor continued to live at Alberton until her death in 1930.[3]

A portion of the Alberton estate was acquired by the New Zealand Government, which established the Plant Diseases Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research on the site in January 1939. The site was chosen due to its variety of soils, and undertook research on how to protect crops against disease.[6] The DSIR gradually took more of the Alberton grounds during the 20th century, through compulsory purchases as a part of the Public Works Act.[7]

Muriel Kerr Taylor, the youngest daughter of Allan Kerr and Sophia Taylor, continued to live at Alberton for the rest of her life. Much of the family had moved elsewhere, and Kerr Taylor children often spent summer holidays at the estate, or lived there while attending Mount Albert Grammar School.[7] In 1970, Muriel learnt that the DSIR intended to purchase the land the house was on. The family moved to prevent this happening by bequeathing the house to the National Historic Places Trust, who received it after her death in 1972.[8]

The Historic Places Trust reopened Alberton on 8 December 1973.[9]


  1. ^ Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 26, 46.
  2. ^ "Alberton". Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 74–75.
  4. ^ a b Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 46.
  5. ^ Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 53.
  6. ^ Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 115.
  7. ^ a b Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 184.
  8. ^ Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 176, 185.
  9. ^ Dunsford, Deborah 2016, pp. 185.