Building name: All Staint's Anglican
Address: 330-338 Church Street
Consturction date: 1914
Architect: E Larcomb
Architectural style: Free Gothic
District Plan Category: 1
Building number: 1
Heritage NZ Category: 1
Building number: 191
Anglican services began in Palmerston North in 1872. This was the second Anglican church in Palmerston North and replaced the original 1875 church, a small timber building later appended to the new church as the chancel. As congregations grew it was added to, firstly in 1891/2, at a cost of 300, and again in 1901 when a south aisle was added. Eventually however it was decided to replace the church altogether, an idea first mooted in 1904. In 1910 the old church was moved to the rear of the Church Street site and work began on a new brick church. The old church continued to be used as a venue for services until the new church was completed. Thereafter the building, now less its spire, was converted into a two-storey scout and parish hall. The building was refurbished in 1978 and three years later a fire in the kitchen caused $30,000 damage to the hall; it was repaired the following year.
The style of the church hall is Victorian Carpenter Gothic in which the style is not an academic essay in Gothic but a simplified timber interpretation. The timber board and batten exterior is a common cladding for the style, used in New Zealand from the time of Bishop Selwyn. The interior expresses the timber framing with large timber posts and trusses.
Ernest Larcomb was born in London and studied architecture from the age of 15, with his uncle, chief draftsman of the War Office, London. After qualifying Larcomb came to New Zealand, arriving in 1874. He worked for the Public Works Department for seven years. In 1881 Larcomb moved to Palmerston North and began his own business, which became one of the town's most successful early architectural practices. He designed a range of buildings, including churches, hotels and banks. Many Square shops and businesses were designed by Larcomb, as well as private homes. He was a borough councillor for eight years.
Summary of values
Obvious spiritual and religious values.
A good example of a New Zealand version of the Carpenter Gothic style - almost a vernacular ecclesiastical design.
Age value, and continuity values, being the oldest church in Palmerston North; an association with the early Palmerston North Anglican community.
A good representative example of the architectural style, modified exterior and interior, the oldest church in PalmerstonNorth.
Good functional, social, and educational uses.
Statement of Significance
This former church, now hall, is one of Palmerston North's oldest buildings and certainly the oldest extant inner-city building. It was built just nine years after the first Anglican service was held in the city and although it has been much altered and moved from its former site it still retains some integrity. The building is intimately associated with the early life of the Anglican Church in Palmerston North and is a good example of an almost vernacular architectural style of Carpenter Gothic.
NZHPT File, All Saint's Anglican Church, Palmerston North, 12004-006
Dent GW (ed) A Short History of the Parochial District of All Saints. JM Dent and Sons, London 1928
Biographies Index, ATL
Saunders BGR 1987, Manawatu's Old Buildings, Department of Geography, Massey University, Palmerston North
Cyclopaedia Co 1908, Cyclopaedia of New Zealand Vol 1 1897-1908, Cyclopaedia Co, Wellington