Ascot Parnell - luxury b&b accommodation
Ascot Parnell
Saint Stephens Ave.
Parnell, Auckland 1052
New Zealand
Ph: int.+ 64 9 309 9012
Ascot Parnell guesthouse and: The history of Parnell Village.

Historic Parnell offers many historic buildings well worth a visit, such as Kinder house, Ewelme cottage, the Selwyn Library and St. Stephens Chapel Parnell all built around 1860 or before.

Historic sites nearby
Parnell Village St Mary's Church St. Stephens Chapel
It is an easy walk to Historic Parnell Village
St Mary's Church next to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.
St. Stephens Chapel on St. Stephens Avenue Parnell

The history of Parnell:
Parnell, contained between the harbour and the Domain is Auckland's oldest suburb. It is vibrant with history. Pukekawa is the Maori name for the Domain, in memory of the dead in ancient wars. There was a Maori Pa at Point Resolution, above the present baths. At the foot of Stanley St, then waterfront at Mechanics Bay, was a Maori hostelry, canoe reserve and market, not demolished till the 1960s.

The purchase of land for Auckland was confirmed in 1841, and blocks of 3-5 acres were sold, quickly subdivided into "36 allotments...metamorphosised into the village of Parnell". But there was stately development too: Judges Bay was named for Sir William Martin (the first Chief Justice) and Attorney General Swainson; and John Blackett's house and grounds in St Georges Bay were "the finest in the province".

Bishop Selwyn decided early that Parnell was to be the focus of the Church of England in Auckland, and in 1842 he had chosen the site for its future Cathedral. He established a deanery, St Barnabas Church (formerly above Mechanics Bay), St Stephen's School (initially for Maori girls), the Church Grammar School in Ayr St, St Stephens Chapel in Judges Bay, the first St. Mary's Church, and the Cathedral Library and bell tower and Bishopscourt in St Stephens Avenue.

Most early settlers were mechanics and tradesmen. They congregated in Mechanics Bay, where the first European suburban and industrial development took place. Early industry included a sawmill, a brickworks, Robertson's Rope Walk, a flour mill, and boat-building. From the 1870's first Mechanics Bay and then St Georges Bay disappeared as they were reclaimed for industry, railway and port development.

In the early 1850's a bridge crossed the inlet to Mechanics Bay - right where Parnell Rise begins now - and this opened a main highway through Parnell and Newmarket to the farming settlement of Epsom, Onehunga and the south. In the 1870's a railway system saw a bridge over Parnell Rd and a tunnel through Parnell Hill. Tramcars ran up Parnell Rd in the early 1900's. In 1919 some of the finest foreshore houses were demolished and their land cut away to form Tamaki Drive, finally severing Parnell from contact with the open harbour.

For a time Parnell languished. Industry, office, transient accommodation encroached. But Les Harvey, a local property developer, revitalised many of the old buildings along Parnell road, and so created "Parnell Village", the catalyst for regeneration of Parnell both as a tourism centre and prime residential area.