Erskine College, Wellington

Coordinates: 41°20′00″S 174°46′38″E / 41.333434°S 174.777358°E / -41.333434; 174.777358
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Erskine College
Erskine College building, Wellington
General information
Architectural styleFrench Gothic and Edwardian collegiate architecture
LocationCorner Avon Street and Melbourne Road, Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand
Coordinates41°20′00″S 174°46′38″E / 41.333434°S 174.777358°E / -41.333434; 174.777358
Design and construction
Architect(s)John Sydney Swan
Reference no.7795

Erskine College was a collection of historic buildings and landscapes (including the Chapel of the Sacred Heart and Main Block Convent) in Wellington, New Zealand. The four storied main buildings were constructed between 1904 and 1906. In 1907 Erskine College began teaching its first pupils. More buildings were built as the school roll increased. The Gothic interior of the chapel is regarded as one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in New Zealand.[1] The Save Erskine College Trust was formed to protect the site in 1992, the first non-government heritage protection authority in New Zealand.[1]

Built in 1905 by the Society of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur), the buildings served as a Catholic girls' boarding school (Convent of the Sacred Heart at Island Bay) until its closure as a girls school in 1985.[2]

The name was changed to Erskine College in the late 1960s to avoid confusion with Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt; being named after Mother Janet Erskine Stuart, the fifth Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart.[2]

The buildings and grounds were classified as a "Category I" ("places of special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value") historic place by Heritage New Zealand.[2]

An arts college, The Learning Connexion was resident at Erskine College from 1996 to until 2009[3] after Erskine ceased being a school.[4]

Peter Jackson's 1996 film The Frighteners used Erskine College as one of their locations.

The college buildings, with the exception of the chapel, were controversially demolished by its owners The Wellington Company in 2018, to make way for 96 townhouses.[5][6] Award-winning CoLab Architecture used the French-Gothic style of the original college and chapel as inspiration for the new development.[7]

Old Girls[edit]

The Erskine College building being demolished in October 2018


  1. ^ "Erskine College Main Building and Chapel of the Sacred Heart - Wellington Heritage - Absolutely Positively Wellington City Council Me Heke Ki Poneke". Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  2. ^ a b c "Erskine College (Former)". New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Erskine College Main Building and Chapel of the Sacred Heart - Wellington Heritage - Absolutely Positively Wellington City Council Me Heke Ki Poneke". Wellington City Heritage. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Memories, a proposal and grand plans". The Learning Connexion. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Erskine College demolition underway as massive development begins". Stuff. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  6. ^ " » Farewell to a heritage building". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Erskine Housing Development". Retrieved 16 February 2024.

External links[edit]

Media related to Erskine College, Wellington at Wikimedia Commons