Morrinsville Heritage Trail
Walking time: approximately one and a quarter hours.
The first documented Anglican service in the district was conducted on Sunday 6th May 1877, although it is probable that service were held on the Turnbull’s private home at Kiwitahi during 1875-76. For the next eighteen years church services were conducted in the Morrinsville School Building in Studholme Street. On this Thames St site, the foundation stone of the first Anglican Church was laid on the 14th February 1895, and the church was completed 3 ½ months later for a cost of £190. It was dedicated on 31st may 1895. The original Parish Hall was opened on its present site in 9th February 1912, at a cost of £150. In 1929, the old church was moved and adjoined to the front end of the Parish Hall to provide more space. The foundation stone for this new church was laid on 13th December 1958 and it was opened on 27 September 1959.
First opened on Monday 23rd June 1928 by Mr. T. Martin as a dance hall it was soon concerted to a silent movie theatre. It was again upgraded to become the first theatre to have sound in the Auckland Province, that screening being on 5th October 1929. The last film shown in the Theatre was ‘Crocodile Dundee’ in 1982.
Initially, the Roman Catholic Church circuit was worked as a branch of Te Aroha, the centre for activities which spread over a large district. The first services were held in a room at the Nottingham Castle Hall. A church site was secured in 1911 at the western end of Thames Street and a church was built there in 1913 but was re sited to the present property in 1924. That original wooden church was replaced by the present concrete structure, opened and blessed on 14th November 1965. This building’s roof was constructed of the largest single-pour concrete roof of the time, built by D.C Street and Co of Hamilton and the Architects were Angus, Flood and Griffiths.
Morrinsville’s first hospital was opened in June 1912 by Dr George Seville’s wife, Kitty, a trained nurse from England. She assisted her husband in his medical work and established the hospital which she named “Laloma Maternity Hospital” Kitty was Manager, Matron and Midwife until the place was sold during World War 1. From its inception, it catered mainly for maternity cases, though dealing with any emergencies. In 1954, its successor hospital was taken over by the Waikato Hospital Board.
Built for Mr. John Clifford, one of the brothers in partnership in the General Store, feature in No.19. The house was sold to Mr. George Howie around 1910. In 1950, the Town and Country Club purchased Clifford House form the Estate of George Howie and it has remained in their possession.
The residence was built by Mr. R. Hill for Dr Morrow who had come to Morrinsville in 1929. Dr Norman later lived in the house then Dr Watts, who utilised part of lot as a surgery.