One of Auckland's most admired heritage homes with a rich history of design and ownership - plus a precisely manicured formal garden - is on the market.

The prestigious home, known as St Ann's, sits on 3062sqm plateau at the top of one of Remuera's most coveted streets.

The library includes a mezzanine with brass inspired by the one owned by Scottish novelist Walter Scott. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate
The library includes a mezzanine with brass inspired by the one owned by Scottish novelist Walter Scott. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate

The Arney Rd property, with a CV of $12 million, is the largest and flattest piece of residential land in the upmarket area, with the protected 1914 character home sitting proudly at the edge of the section.

The home was built for Charles Isaac Nathan, of the well-known merchant and brewing family that founded L.D Nathan & Co, by renowned architect Chilwell and Trevithick.

The walls of the formal dining room have been handpainted by the home's owner - artist Katherine Strevens. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate
The walls of the formal dining room have been handpainted by the home's owner - artist Katherine Strevens. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate

The same architects designed other noted buildings in New Zealand including Myers Kindergarten, Whitcombe and Tombs Building in Dunedin and the Arthur Eady Building on Queen St.

Agent Ollie Wall, of Graham Wall real estate, said the property was "an absolute one-off".


one roof

The cherry tree walk, formal box parterre garden and clusters of dwarf hollies are manicured to the millimetre.

The formal box parterre at 43 Arney Road, Remuera is meticulously maintained. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate
The formal box parterre at 43 Arney Road, Remuera is meticulously maintained. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate

"The gardens are truly spectacular and are trimmed using a string-line so are perfect."

He said potential buyers were considering adding a pool and tennis court because there was so much flat, usable land.

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A historic photo of St Ann's at 43 Arney Road, Remuera. Photo / Sir George Grey Special Collections
A historic photo of St Ann's at 43 Arney Road, Remuera. Photo / Sir George Grey Special Collections

Only two families have owned the four-level home in over a hundred years - with a break in residential use when it was sold to Auckland Kindergarten Association in the 1950s.

The current owners of the property, Katherine and John Strevens, have made their mark on the property.

Artist Katherine Strevens' work can be seen throughout the home, including the dining room which has been hand-painted in the style of Chinese wallpaper with more than 60 birds.

Training teachers greet Governor General Lord Cobham at the opening of St Ann's in the 1950s. Photo / Grey Collections Auckland Public Library
Training teachers greet Governor General Lord Cobham at the opening of St Ann's in the 1950s. Photo / Grey Collections Auckland Public Library

John Strevens, a former deputy mayor of Auckland, commissioned alterations to the property throughout the years and used famous designs as inspiration.

His father was Walter John Strevens who owned farmland in Takanini and founded Strevens Lingerie.

The formal library with a brass balcony was modelled on that owned by Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.

Daughter Helen Strevens designed the folly, coated in copper plates, at the end of the garden.

The house includes a morning room, drawing room, dining room and library.

The library includes a mezzanine with brass inspired by the one owned by Scottish novelist Walter Scott. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate
The library includes a mezzanine with brass inspired by the one owned by Scottish novelist Walter Scott. Photo / Graham Wall Real Estate

There are seven bedrooms upstairs, including the master bedroom which has a safe built into the side of the chimney.

The attic space, referred to by the family as 'The Gods', is extensive and easily accessed by a pull-down staircase from one of the bedrooms.

Eldest daughter Kate said her sisters Sarah, Helen, Brigid and brother Joseph made many memories at the house including eating guavas in the garden and escaping to 'The Gods' with books, rugs and pillows to 'get away'.

The formal garden has been a playground for grandchildren and many laser tag parties. Photo Graham Wall Real Estate
The formal garden has been a playground for grandchildren and many laser tag parties. Photo Graham Wall Real Estate

When her parents first bought the house Kate was 12 and remembers telephones and handbasins in every room from the home's days as a training facility.

"We had a great time calling each other from the bedrooms until the house was renovated."

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Kate said the house was a "wonderful house for parties" including large New Year's Eve gatherings, 21sts, anniversaries, children's parties with clowns, fairies and, on various occasions, "up to 20 children playing laser tag in the garden".

Children knocking for sweets at Halloween had the added excitement of the formal lychgate - which is a formal covered gateway usually found at the entrance of a churchyard.

Girls in leotards perform on the grounds at St Ann's in the 1950s. Photo / Grey Collections, Auckland Public Library
Girls in leotards perform on the grounds at St Ann's in the 1950s. Photo / Grey Collections, Auckland Public Library

Historic photos of the property show groups of ladies having coffee in the sunroom, training teachers greeting Governor General Lord Cobham at the opening of the centre in the 1950s and girls in leotards performing on the lawn.

The house and land are listed as a Historic Places Trust Category 2.

Wall said he believed the property, which is for sale by negotiation, would sell for well over its $12m CV.