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History of Parnell and Newmarket

For centuries the areas surrounding Auckland were inhabited by the Maori people of New Zealand. They migrated long distances from Polynesia in canoes during the thirteenth and fourteenth century A.D to start a new life and create their own culture in what is now New Zealand.

During the seventeenth century Europeans began arriving in this part of the world bringing their western culture with them. As they settled into the Auckland area they built and maintained friendly relationships with the Maori people until the 1860s when social conflicts and disease took their toll. For decades the Maori struggled to maintain their culture but ultimately they succeeded. Today, there are about 600,000 Maori people who live throughout New Zealand including the suburbs of Parnell and Newmarket.

People from all over the world have settled and influenced the distinct culture that makes up our way of life in Auckland. Since 1841 when the Europeans started settling in Parnell and Newmarket, the area has grown with roads, markets, churches, and residences. Parnell Road has been the main road through Parnell since it was first formed in 1842, and you can still see that today in some of the buildings from that era which were constructed using New Zealand volcanic stone, such as the building standing at 330 Parnell Road.

Newmarket has grown steadily throughout the centuries, too, and has become the fashion hub of New Zealand. However, it wasn’t always a shopping destination. When Newmarket was given its name in 1851 this area was mostly famous for its abundant livestock. As roads were built around the area, farmers used them to transport their farm animals to and from Auckland’s city center marketplace. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Newmarket started attracting retail shops and began building its reputation as a prime shopping spot in New Zealand.

Notable Historical Buildings in Parnell and Newmarket

As Parnell and Newmarket have developed in the recent decades, many of our historic buildings have been torn down. A few still remain, however, and they still hold important pieces of our area’s history. Today most of the remaining historical buildings are used as retail shops, restaurants, and public services. Here are a handful of the oldest buildings in Parnell and Newmarket that are still standing today:

Parnell Road has a well-preserved, but small collection of original buildings that are still in use today. The Windsor Castle that stands at 144 Parnell Road is now a popular pub amongst locals and visitors alike. The building was originally built in the 1850s, and then went through a transformation in the 1880s to give it a Victorian styled facade.
One of the oldest standing houses in Auckland is located at 350 Parnell Road. This building is called Hulme Court and it was constructed in 1843. It is a stone built house and it is still in use today.

During the late nineteenth century as European settlers made their way to Auckland, they brought their churches with them. The Anglican Cathedral is perhaps the most famous building standing in Parnell. The original church that stood here was a wooden building known as St. Mary’s, but it was torn down in 1888. The current church takes its design from Gothic architecture complete with stained glass windows and a beautiful bronze sculpture depicting Archangel Michael.

Behind The Anglican Cathedral you can see Old Saint Mary’s. The wooden Gothic was church built in 1885 and replaced the original St Mary’s church. This old structure has been preserved for the residents of Parnell to enjoy.

In Newmarket most of the old buildings have been demolished to make way for new construction or heavily altered to fit the modern way of life. One of the most famous sites is the Olympic Swimming Pool that was constructed in 1939. It’s still in use today, though the building has been heavily remodeled.

The Carlton Club which stands at the intersection of Khyber Pass Road and Broadway was built in the 1890s and was originally a hotel. It’s one of the oldest buildings still standing in the area.