|Local authority||Auckland Council|
Hillsborough is a leafy suburb of nice but largely unremarkable 20th-century houses. The area is serviced by two shopping areas; Onehunga and Three Kings. The area is served by secondary schools Mount Roskill Grammar School and Marcellin College.
History of Hillsborough
Named for James Carlton Hill who left land to the City for use as public domains in his 1858 will.
The most interesting building in the area is Pah Homestead (or The Pah). This building was constructed for James Williamson by Thomas Mahoney on the 313 acre estate Pah Farm in 1877-9. Of plastered brick in the Italianate style it is based upon Queen Victoria & Prince Albert's house Osbourne House in the Isle of Wight. It was allegedly the largest house ever built in New Zealand and certainly one of the most expensive.
Following the failure of Williamson's business concerns after the Stock Market crash of 1886 the estate was progressively broken up and sold off. Various organisations established facilities on the smaller but still spacious properties that resulted from the subdivision; a Franciscan Friary, Marcellin College for boys, Roskill Masonic Hospital, and Liston Village (a residential home which includes the historic Pah Stable Block). Other parts of the property were purchased by the Hillsborough Bowling Club, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who built a church on Pah Road, Sanitarium Wholefoods and Holeproof Enterprises who built factories on Pah Road and Auckland City Council who created Seymour Park. The rest of the extensive farmland was redeveloped as suburban housing although a portion to the south of Herd Road is still utilised for grazing land probably because it is very steep. The two storied Farm Managers House still stands at 1 Warren Avenue.
The Pah Mansion was eventually purchased by the Roman Catholic Church in 1913 and renamed Monte Cecilia, Part of the remaining land close to the house was developed as Monte Cecilia Primary School, and the house itself was used as emergency housing for many years. The Auckland City Council recently purchased the property. Its magnificent grounds contain a number of interesting specimen trees and is now part of a public park named Monte Cecilia Park which will eventually include the site of Monte Cecilia Primary School which will be relocated elsewhere in the area. The house has been renovated and is now being used to display Sir James Wallace's extensive collection of New Zealand Modern art.