The History of Kershaw House B&B Nelson Abel Tasman
Kershaw House Boutique Accommodation is a Category 2 Historic New Zealand Home
We have been researching Kershaw House for sometime now. Our home has the distinction of being a category 2 historic home, mainly due the the art deco style lead light window that is featured in the upstairs landing area of our home. That's just one of a few things we have found out about Kershaw House. Here are some more of our findings...
Constructed at 61 Nile Street in the 1920s, Kershaw House is a noteworthy example of the English suburban style and features Art Deco influences. The House is a two-storied, weatherboard home with corrugated iron roofing. It has an elaborate interior, with the main door opening up to reveal an wood-panelled entranceway and staircase.
The stairs lead to an Art Deco style stained-glass bay window on the staircase landing. The window features geometric patterns, most notably diamond shapes, which are highlighted by the use of filigree lead. Phillips and Maclean (1983:95) state that
although the bevels give the windows a jewel-like quality, the design has a mathematic precision. In its symmetry and repetition, the window reflects the logic and order of a machine-age world. However, there is a flaw in the top corner of the right-hand window as the leadline curves to the left instead of the right as in the other windows. Phillips and Maclean (1983:95) conclude that this was either a deliberate act of rebellion on the part of the artist or a simple mistake. Pete has found 2 mistakes in the design and often challenges our guests to also find them!
Little historical information is available about the original owners of Kershaw House. From 1944 or 1945 it was occupied by the prominent Nelson doctor, David Collingwood Low. Low remained there until the early 1980s. His surgery was located along the side of the house in a room marked 'games room' on the plans and his dispensary was situated in what is now the office.
In the 1980s a large area of Nelson central was earmarked for demolition, in preparation for the construction of the new Regional Polytechnic campus. In 1988 the then owner D.G. McLean obtained consent to relocate Kershaw House to 10 Wensley Road. The entire house was successfully relocated in five pieces. Kershaw House was converted in 2003 to luxury boutique accommodation with four en-suite guest rooms