From Quarry to Stately House and Garden – 7 Pere Street, Remuera

Terraced Rock Garden from Quarry, NZH 1 March 1935

Enoch Bond. (Cyclopedia of New Zealand-Auckland Provincial District. 1902. NZETC)

Elon Bond (1891-1968), 10 June 1943 (Clifton Firth. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 34-B262)

Garden party in aid of funds for Boy Scouts Assn at home of Mr & Mrs E Bond in Remuera Road, NZH 8 MARCH 1937

7 Pere Street, from Remuera Road, July 2020 (1)

7 Pere Street, from Remuera Road, July 2020 (2)

7 Pere Street, from Remuera Road, July 2020 (3)

The Bond family built an imposing house on Remuera Road next to what was called Mt Hobson Domain c.1920 and transformed what had been an abandoned quarry site into a striking terraced garden.

Earlier James Dilworth had attempted to buy Mt Hobson in the 1840s to add to his 300 acre farm between Remuera and Epsom but it took until 1880 for the top of the maunga to be saved. In the late 1870s a public debate had raged over the need to sacrifice the prominent landscape of Mt Hobson to build roads for the growing Auckland city. Public action ensured that the 9.5 hectare (23 acres) Mt Hobson Domain was gazetted in 1880 by Sir George Grey. This hadn’t stopped the privately owned site next to the domain from having been a quarry from which scoria was excavated between 1914 and 1918. [1]

Enoch Bond had established a family firm Bond and Bond in 1875 at Wade, near Silverdale, for his sons Enoch, Enos, Erni and Elon, initially to buy gum but then developed it into a general store. The business moved to Auckland in 1894 and the name was changed to Bond and Bell when Enoch’s son-in-law joined the business. In 1918 the name reverted to Bond and Bond when Bell retired. The firm then opened its first home appliance branch in the Dilworth Building, Queen Street. [2]

Enoch Bond died in 1895 and his sons ran the business. Auckland street directories record Erni Bond living at 51-53 Remuera Road (now 171-173 Remuera Road) in 1911 and 1915, Enoch Bond at 53 Remuera Road in 1927, Elon Bond Jnr at 49b Remuera Road in 1929, and Enoch Bond at 53 Remuera Road in 1932-1936, 55 Remuera Road in 1939-1946, Elon Bond at 173 Remuera Road from 1956 to 1960.

The current house was built c.1920 by Enoch Bond (1862-1946) and the old quarry site was converted into a terrace garden with tennis court and putting green which are still there today. Photos by the New Zealand Herald in the 1930s show the transformation plus a garden party on the terraces.  It was described as – a terraced rock garden on the northern slope of Mount Hobson, which attracts considerable attention from passers-by in Remuera Road. Formerly an unsightly abandoned quarry, the property now gives the appearance of a large amphitheatre with a tennis court and putting green laid out on the old floor of the quarry. [3]

A bluestone wall faces Remuera Road and a garage was included. The steep sides of the old pit are ornamented with two rock turrets, with a pergola nearby. Banks of geraniums, begonias, petunias and marigolds provide colour against the rock and scoria paths. [4]

In 1937 the Herald photographed a garden fete there – Garden party in aid of funds for Boy Scouts Association. Guests inspecting the stone terraces in the grounds of the residence of Mr. and Mrs. E. Bond, in Remuera Road, during Saturday afternoon’s garden fete. [5]

The last Bond family residents sold the house in 2002 – by then it was identified as 7 Pere Street. [6]

7 PERE STREET Buyers spend $9m on 2 luxury homes. 25 Apr, 2002 10:19pm. Anne Gibson.“The Remuera house, previously owned by Marjorie Bond and Gillian Willoughby (nee Bond), marketed as “a grandstand position”, sold last month for more than its Quotable Value estimate of $3.4 million.

Bayleys described it as: “an outstanding estate, positioned on 3210sq m of land with a 460sq m residence, pool, pool house, summer house, tennis court and large garaging facilities”.  The house, built in the 1920s, has five bedrooms, a study, three bathrooms, formal and informal living areas, a sunroom and billiard room. The property shares a boundary on two sides with the Mt Hobson Reserve. The views from the house are said to be among Auckland’s best stretch to the Waitakeres and Coromandel and include the city and harbour.”