Irises in the garden of 'Woodleigh'.
James Chapman-Taylor designed the house, in Tutaenui Road, Marton, in 1910. Chapman-Taylor started off as a builder and then studied architecture and design with the International Correspondence Schools of the United States.
He built Woodleigh a year after he had travelled to England, where he was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. It’s unusual layout features a central courtyard which all the rooms are arranged around. It is built with whitewashed bricks, terracotta roof tiles (individually stamped with the makers' marks – from Marseilles) heavy jarrah beams from Australia and small-framed, hand-crafted windows.
Chapman-Taylor stated that the home was not intended to be "old fashioned", but rather, "a building that meets aesthetic and practical requirements without resort to artifices, shams or imitations".
It was named by John Vickers, the current owner, in 1969 when he bought the house, and it was the Vickers who established the gardens as they are today.