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Surrey Crescent Ridge

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Surrey Crescent Ridge was Te Rae o Kawharu, Kawharu’s brow, after being the place where the Ngati Whatua invading chief rested his troops in preparation for battle.

The ridge was the perfect vantage point, with clear lines of sight to the surrounding volcanic pas, Maungawhau (Mt Eden) and Owairaka (Mt Albert).

Colonisation brought the purchase of the land by Europeans, becoming the Newton District and it changed hands many times.

For many years, the slopes in front of The Grey were farmed as the Surrey Hills Estate by James Williamson and Thomas Crummer, hence the names of the streets running parallel to Great North Road, in front of The Grey, before a long period of subdivision and development of the leafy streets you see before you today.

For the last few decades, the ridge has been semi-industrial and known for its car yards, warehouses and workshops.

Now there is a definite buzz about ‘the Ridge’ as it develops into an apartment and retail hub. It’s changing the skyline as people discover this incredible position/location, overlooking the streets and life of Grey Lynn.

Grey Lynn. What’s in the name?

In 1899, the borough of Newton was renamed to differentiate it from the old, cramped, unsanitary suburb of Newton.

Unsurprisingly, the Grey name was taken from Governor Sir George Grey. The second half of the name, Lynn, comes from linne, in Gaelic, or lenna, in Old English or Celtic, meaning waterfall, stream, pool or lake. Before Grey Lynn park’s lowlands were drained for development, the land was extremely wet and swampy.