Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wondering about Scroggy in Fruitvale

I had an email enquiry last night, asking for info as to the origin of the name "Scroggy Stream", which flows from Fruitvale down to the Whau River.

Here is my reply:

You've asked a very intriguing question. All I have are bits and pieces, and possible theories, though.

I think the stream was named after the hill -- Allotments 158, 159 and 163 of the Parish of Waikomiti, bounded today by Rua, Tahi and Fruitvale Road. Rua Road used to be Croydon Road, and was a crossing at some point (apparently) with the railway, at which point people called it Scroggy Hill, the highest point between New Lynn and Glen Eden.

The original Crown Grant holder from 1864 was Frederick Lambert Prime, Mayor of Auckland City from 1874-1875. He owned the site through to 1908, and died 5 May 1916. The name "Scroggy Hill" started to appear in the Auckland Star from around 1907, so it might have been a local nickname for the hill. There are Scroggy Hills in Scotland, the work "scrogg" meaning "thick underbrush". 

Prime didn't come from Scotland, though -- he came from Cambridgeshire.

So, if any readers can add insight into the origin of a hill and stream named "Scroggy" out in the underbrush of New Lynn's environs -- feel free to share.


  1. Don't know if it's of any help but the word "scroggy" was used to describe areas in Australia in several states and over several decades.
    Trove 1.

  2. Cheers, Jayne. Looks like my theory's holding up so far, then ...

  3. We lived on the corner of Waima (now Malam) Road & Clayburn Road from 1937 and as a kid I remember that the Croydon Road Rail Station was on West Coast Road at the Northern edge of the bridge crossing the rail tracks immediately behind the "corner store" on Clayburn Rd..
    From memory the line came from somewhere near the end of Aotea Road, across West Coast then continued uphill (Scroggy Hill) behind the houses on West Coast Road opposite Pleasant Road then downhill to Glen Eden station.
    The realignment, cutting and lowering went through, I would guess in the early 1940s.
    I know the old steam engines really worked hard coming up from New Lynn and from Glen Eden to Croydon Road.

    1. Norm , do you recall any brick making or pottery activity in the Clayburn reserve area during your time there ? I know that Mr Johnston ( e ? ) had a brickworks near the railway line there but not sure of what era that was ?
      "Clayburn " name may associate to this time ??

  4. I lived in Clayburn Road and remember both the Clayburn Road Railway Station and the cirner store at west Coast Road, which was an IGA. The Clayburn Road side of the railway station where the reserve now is used to be the local rubbish dump and where we, as kids used to go and pick black berries.
    Croydon Road was called Scroggy Hill by my dad and i remember my granddad, who used to live next door, just calling the area Scroggy.