Glendowie Retreat Centre

Historic Homestead

268 West Tamaki Road

This beautifully located homestead serves as a splendid venue in a peaceful location for residential study weekends and weeks as well as events throughout the year.
*This is a retreat centre only and we cannot offer courses from this location.


If you are interested in finding out when our next courses are being run please head to our Dates Page alternatively if you would like information about the courses and topics that are covered at each school then please check out our Courses Page.

“I can say that my attendance at the SOP has been life changing in the most positive way imaginable. The practical knowledge I have gained…has transformed the way I interact with all people and in all circumstances.”

Glendowie Historic Homestead for School of Philosophy

Want to speak with us?

For help with any of your questions please call 0800 610 539 or check out our Frequently Asked Questions here…
Or for more ways to get in touch please head to our Contact Page.

More about the Glendowie Historic Homestead

Glendowie is one of Auckland’s stately homes; 268 West Tamaki Rd was built in 1989. Since then a series of owners have lovingly looked after the Glendowie Building. Students now use Glendowie for regular weekly meetings and also serves as a splendid venue for residential study weekends, study weeks and events throughout the year.


Including basement and attic sections the house is over 1250 sq m on four levels. Glendowie boasts 20 bedrooms, a library, a self-contained flat, large drawing room, four meeting rooms and a spacious conservatory. The grounds are 1.6 hectares of lawn and garden and contain two cottages with an accommodation annex. When students step outside they are surrounded by spectacular views over Half Moon Bay, Tamaki Estuary and Brown’s Island.


  • Chilwell and Trevithick, Auckland architectural firm, designed the original house and built it in American colonial style for Sir Kenneth Myers in 1936.
  • Between 1939 and 1945 the house served as a rest home for officers of the US military.
  • Sir Robert Kerridge purchased Glendowie in 1046.
  • In 1953 the house sold again, this time to an American Catholic Order, the Sisters of the Cenacle who used it as a venue for retreats.
    The Sisters of the Cenacle added the East wing in 1964. This extended the number of meeting rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms on the first floor.
  • In 1987, after 34 years of ownership, Williams Property Ltd bought the house for refurbishment and conversion into a resthome.

Becoming the School

The Smart Group, the main shareholders of Willams, encountered financial difficulties in 1989 and were forced to sell the property.
Thus, the house came into the possession of the School of Philosophy and we are now the 5th and second longest owners.

Chilwell and Trevithick reviewed the original house in Vol 1 of Building Today (1937).