Historic site: Taylor Stace Cottage

"History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man."

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Historic Taylor Stace Cottage.
Taylor Stace Cottage.
Photo from Pataka Museum Collection, at Porirua Library ref D.1a.1.

The Taylor-Stace Cottage has great historical significance, as it is the oldest existing residence in the Pauatahanui district and possibly in the whole Wellington region. The cottage's name comes from two pioneering families in Pauatahanui who lived in the cottage over the years.

The house was built by William and Anne Taylor who arrived in New Zealand in 1840 and moved to Pauatahanui in 1847. The house they built is now the back portion of the cottage. In 1848 they moved to Tawa Flat and the house was eventually sold to Alfred Stace.

The Stace family was very prominent in the early European community in Pauatahanui. Thomas Hollis Stace (who built the Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage in 1860), his father, wife and six children arrived in New Zealand in 1853. The Stace family occupied the house for a period, although there is some debate as to how long they stayed and whether they completed the additions to the front of the cottage in c.1855-1860. (There is some doubt as to whether they were completed then or in 1906.) After the Stace family moved to the nearby 'Riversdale' home, the cottage was leased to a number of people.

In 1969 the cottage, considered at the time derelict, was bought by Huapai Properties (later the Whitby Community Developments Consortium.) The Consortium extensively modified the cottage, based on plans prepared by James Beard of the Wellington architectural firm of Gabites Toomath Beard Wilson and Partners. The cottage was leased as a craft gallery from 1972. It was sold in 1981 and one of the new owners was linked by marriage to the Stace family.

The Porirua City Council has identified the Taylor Stace Cottage as a Key Site in the Porirua region and has provided funding to lift the cottage so it is no longer subject to flooding. Find out more information about this project on our Key Site Project page.

Continue to Thomas Hollis Stace Cottage or return to Pauatahanui, Judgeford and Whitby.