Thornton Earl Manor

Thornton Earl Manor is a historic home in Christchurch, New Zealand, constructed by the England Brothers for the Atkinson family in the early 20th century. After being severely damaged in the 2011 Canterbury earthquake, the owners, Dean and Andrea, embarked on an ambitious restoration project. They acquired the neighbouring property, which was originally part of the grounds, and added a basement wine cellar, pool house, and tennis court to the Manor’s grounds.

To provide flexibility, the Manor can be separated into four separate apartments by locking a few doors. Great care was taken to do this unobtrusively. The flexibility of the Manor was important due to the size of the property, as homes of this scale are no longer common. This ensures that the Manor can be retained and utilised in many ways for years to come.

The restoration project involved stripping the Manor down to its bare framing, rebuilding the roof structure, and adding shear walls. The structure was strengthened to 100% of the Building Code, and extensive fire rating was required due to the ability to use the home as separate apartments. Special attention was given to insulation and heating, and ducted heat pumps were installed on all three floors. The Great Rooms were recreated with authentic period details, while a more modern aesthetic was applied to the kitchens, bathrooms, and informal areas.

The restoration of Thornton Earl Manor was a complex project that involved extensive renovations and structural strengthening. The result is a stunning historic home that can be used as a single residence or divided into four separate apartments. The attention to detail in the restoration is evident in the period detailing and modern amenities, making Thornton Earl Manor a unique and versatile property in Christchurch.