Welcome To Parnell Heritage

We aim to further the preservation, study,
knowledge and dissemination of information
about the heritage of Parnell

Welcome to Parnell Heritage

Situated east of Auckland City, Parnell can rightly claim to be Auckland’s oldest suburb, established in September 1841.

The first government officials arrived in the Waitemata Harbour on 15th September 1840, aboard the ship Anna Watson from the Bay of Islands. Also on board were the essential tradesmen (known as mechanics), required to erect the first public buildings in the town of Auckland.

The first public land sale auction by the government was held at Government House on 19th April 1841. Pressure from new immigrants wanting more and cheaper land resulted in the Government surveying and selling off “suburban”, “cultivation” and “small farms” sections on 1 September 1841. The “suburban” land of twenty five lots, ranging in size from three to five acres, and included the land around Manukau Road (now Parnell Road), Saint Stephen’s Avenue, and Conquest Place (now Gladstone Road) and known as Section 1, Suburbs of Auckland and included St Georges Bay and Judges Bay. Unfortunately, most of the lots were sold at high prices unaffordable by the ordinary workingman and were purchased by speculators including Robert Tod. Government officials were given first selection of the lots prior to the sale.

Robert Tod subdivided his three acre lot into 36 small allotments which he advertised for sale on 4th September 1841 as the “Village of Parnell”. Other lots were named “Prospect” and “Windsor Terrace”. Over the next decade these names disappeared, Parnell becoming the preferred name for the surrounding locality. The date of Robert Tod’s newspaper advertisement is generally acknowledged as the date the suburb of Parnell was founded.


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Our Story

Parnell Heritage Inc. was founded in 2005, when a group of like-minded residents met at the Swan Hotel on the corner of Parnell Rise and Stanley Street. Its purpose, as defined by its constitution, is to further the preservation, study, knowledge and dissemination of information about the heritage of Parnell, with an emphasis on the people, space, buildings, natural environment and history, all of which combine to define the heritage of Parnell.

We host regular presentations showcasing Parnell’s history and other heritage related events. Parnell Heritage Inc. is a registered charitable organisation.

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Our Latest Updates

Parnell Orphan Home

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Find out about the rich history of Parnell’s orphan home.

Books for Parnellites

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Public libraries in Auckland had their humble beginnings in the Mechanics Institute only a year after the new settlement was established.

Mr Barber’s new residence

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A glowing review of this gracious villa in York Street.