Topic: Arthur Washington Burrows (1836-1899)

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Arthur Washington Burrows was a prominent architect of early Tauranga designing such iconic buildings as the Star Hotel, the Mechanic's Institue (1872), Holy Trinity Church (1875), the Public Library (1881) and the Stone Jetty at Mount Maunganui. Story researched and written by Debbie McCauley.

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Arthur Washington Burrows was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England on 10 July 1836, the son of George Crisp and Margaret Burrows (nee Hall). He arrived in New Zealand with his younger brother, Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows, in 1865.

Arthur died at 'High Trees' in Harington Street, Tauranga on 24 August 1899 (reg. 1899/3881). His obituary appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 25 August 1899:

OBITUARY. Quite a gloom was cast over the town last evening and this morning as the news spread round that Mr A. W. Burrows, Architect, was dead. For some three weeks he had been ill with a very severe attack of bronchitis asthma and about a week ago was removed from his own house to Mrs Norris’s High Trees, so that his friends could look after him better and Mrs Norris and her sons and daughters have been unremitting in their nursing and efforts to restore the patient to health. At an early stage of the illness Mr Burrows became despondent and the loss of hope on his own part seemed to be followed by a loss of vitality. The end came about 6.30 last evening of a syncope due to the rupture of a blood vessel.

Deceased came to the Colony from Norfolk, England, being a native of that country, and arriving here in the early sixties, entering into a partnership with a Mr Cameron, an architect in Auckland. Subsequently, when the war time came on, he joined the volunteer force and saw some considerable service in this district and was several times under fire. At be close of the war he settled in Tauranga, commenced the practice of his profession again, joined in the volunteer movement locally with which the late Capt E. G. Norris was intimately connected, and built himself the house in First Avenue in which he resided, with one interval of about two years, until a week prior to his death.

Shortly after settling here he joined the service at the Government in the local Survey Office, retaining however the right to continue private practice. About 1885 he was transferred to Rotorua, when the Government commenced the systematic development of the thermal and curative waters there, and was placed in charge of the engineering works. He designed and superintended the erection of the famous Blue Bath, besides several other works in connection with the Sanatorium and was there at the time of the Rotamahana eruption. About the end of 1886 he retired from the public service and, returning to Tauranga, recommenced practice as an architect and engineer. Among the buildings designed by him in Tauranga, may be mentioned the Star Hotel, Trinity Church and Mechanic's Institute. Deceased was a bachelor and of rather retiring habits but of a kindly disposition which made him liked by young and old. He was a man of thorough uprightness and integrity, and in consequence received the implicit confidence of all with whom he came into business relationship, whether private individuals or public bodies.

Apart from business his chief hobby was the acclimation of fish, through the medium of the Acclimatisation Society, which has had many a day's hard work from the deceased, purely for the love of the thing and his place will be indeed hard to fill. Among other works which he carried out gratuitously for the public good was the old Stone Wharf at the Mount, now unfortunately much dilapidated, and in the early years of the Tennis Club in Tauranga, he gave the use of his grounds freely for the Club's use. His place will leave a gap in the ranks of old Taurangans that cannot be filled and his death has caused a widespread feeling of sorrow throughout the district.

The funeral is to take place tomorrow leaving High Trees, Harington St., at 2.30 p.m. for the New Cemetery.


Mauao Stone Jetty by Lee Switzer

Plaque at the Stone Jetty, the first wharf at Mount Maunganui. Photo: Lee Switzer.

Arthur was buried in Tauranga Anglican Cemetery. His headstone reads: Arthur Washington BURROWS (bachelor) born 10 Jul 1836 Norwich, England d 24 Aug 1899. Architect & resident of Tauranga.



Bay of Plenty Times (25 August 1899, p. 2). 

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Central Tauranga Heritage Study.

McLean, Heather (1997). Tauranga Anglican Cemetery Headstones.

Richardson, Peter (1997). Building the Dominion: Government Architecture in New Zealand 1840-1922.

Tauranga 1882-1982: The Centennial of Gazetting Tauranga as a Borough (pp. 218-219).

This page was archived at Perma cc March 2017

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Arthur Washington Burrows (1836-1899)

First Names:Arthur Washington
Last Name:Burrows
Date of Birth:10 July 1836
Place of Birth:Norwich, Norfolk
Country of birth:England
Date of death:24 August 1899
Place of death:High Trees, Tauranga
Place of burial:Tauranga Anglican Cemetery
Fathers name:George Crisp Burrows
Fathers date of birth:c1797
Fathers place of birth:Norwich, Norfolk, England
Fathers date of death:13 February 1868
Fathers place of death:Norwich, Norfolk, England
Mothers name:Margaret Hall
Mothers date of birth:c1802
Mothers place of birth:Norwich, Norfolk, England
Name of sibilings:Clara Martineau Burrows, Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows, Elizabeth Blackburn Burrows, Agnes Margaret Burrows, Julia Isabella Burrows, Celia Charlotte Burrows, and Eliza E Burrows