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Ayres House, 1891


R Ayres House, Coromandal St, Newtown, 1891
BFA Collection.
Architect: William Crichton

This is a typical bay villa of the 1890s but is significant because it is the oldest drawing we can find that can be attributed to William Crichton. It is signed and dated 16-6-91.

Richard Ayres was a herbalist, he had a shop and manufacturing facility at 90 Cuba Street where he sold many remedies of his own making. He also had shops in Newtown and Molesworth St and sold his products to herbalists and chemists throughout the North island and as far away as Queensland. His private residence was 'The Pines', Coromandal St. He was also active in local politics and the Primitive Methodist Church1. In the 1890s he employed an apprentice named John Castle, Later Castle qualified as a chemist and went on to set up his own business. His shop, located in Riddiford St, still trades under the 'Castle' name and is now Wellington's oldest chemist. In December 1894 John Castle married Annie, daughter of R Ayres, at the Pines2, she died in 19373.

1. Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1897
2. Evening Post (Wellington), 31 December 1894, Marriages.
3. Evening Post (Wellington), 25 August 137, Obituary.

Continuous practice since 1892... design for your needs, not for ours