Alberton is a historic house located in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert.
The historic house is located at 100 Mt Albert Road. Access is from Kerr-Taylor Avenue. It is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am – 4.30pm. Adults are $10. Accompanied children are free.
If you plan on visiting Highwic and Ewelme Cottage as well I would recommend purchasing the Historic Auckland Passport for $18, which allows you one time entry to all three historic properties and is valid for a year from purchase.
Allan Kerr Taylor was born in India in 1832. His father was Lieutenant Colonel William Taylor of the 39th Madras Native Infantry. Kerr Taylor was educated at Royal High School in Edinburgh, Scotland. At age 15 he followed his brothers and immigrated to New Zealand.
At age 16 he brought 270 acres at Mount Albert. He subsequently added two adjoining blocks of 232 acres and 120 acres. He named property after the nearby volcanic cone Mt Albert.
In 1850 he went to California and 1860 went to England where he married Martha Meredith in 1862. Martha and Alan had two children, both unfortunately died in infancy. Martha herself died in 1864, aged 25.
The following year Allan married Sophia Louisa Davis. She had ten children with Allan, four boys and six girls, two of whom died as children.
The house at Alberton was built as a farmhouse 1863. On the ground floor there was the entrance hall, drawing room, kitchen, dining room, and a master bedroom. Upstairs there were five bedrooms.
In 1872 the house was extended and the verandahs, balconies and towers with their Indian inspired ogee roofs were added.
After Alan’s death his second wife Sophia sold off some of the land to pay debts. At the time of her death in 1930, 128 acres remained. Three of Sophia’s daughters Winifred, Muriel and Mildred remained at Alberton and continued to subdivide the property over the years as a source of income. At the time of Muriel’s death in 1972 the property was only 2 acres.
Muriel bequeathed the property to New Zealand Historic Places Trust and Alberton opened as a house museum in 1973.
The ground floor of the house has the dining room, kitchen, pantry, study with a gun cupboard, drawing room and ballroom. Alberton was hosting a 50th birthday party in the ballroom on the date I visited. They hire out rooms and the gardens for weddings and other private functions.
Outside near the kitchen is a wash house with a well.
On the second floor visitors can explore the various bedrooms, dressing room, sewing room and library. Brave visitors can climb the steep stairs (a ladder almost) to the servants quarters. Just be careful climbing back down!