Prospect was built by George Clarke about 1840 for Henry Tacy Clarke, on a site close to the main Waimate - Ohaeawai trail. The house stood on an elevated knoll with extensive southerly and western views - hence the name Prospect. In 1841, the house was rented out to Henrys Aunt, Mrs. Ludbrook. In late 1844 Mary Ann Ludbrook moved in with the Clarke’s in Mataharihari home in Auckland, to escape Heke’s rising and look after her sister Martha.

In 1848 Henry succeeded George Clarke Jnr to his post and became a trusted judge of the Māori Land Court.

Henry married Sarah Yates Kemp, William married Mary Anne Kemp and after they married in 1852. Henry, William and wives moved into Prospect. William and Mary farmed the area at Waimate North. All of his children were born in Waimate North 1860 - 1874. Mary died in 1882 at Waimate. William Clarke died at Waingaro 1914. He had spent the later years of this life with his daughter Alice.

The property was taken over by William Clarke Jnr and in about 1860 the house under went extensive alteration and modernisation. The top floor was removed and given or sold to the Ludbrooks. William lived in the house from 1860 - 1902.

The bottom storey was converted to Victorian proportions by the addition of an extra 1.5 feet to the ceiling height by adding jack studs and a new top plate above the original walls. The staircase was removed and the walls re-sarked with a mixture of new (circular-saw] and recycled (pit sawn] boards, presumably covered in scrim. The exterior joinery was replaced and a four-panel front door and multi-pained double-hung window in Victorian style with Victorian routed mouldings replacing what formerly existed.

In 1911 - 12 the property was sold to Eliza and Archibald McNicol. During the short period of their tenure, further changes were made. The building was moved 400m by bullock team from its original location across the stream to a new location to the road, and modernised in keeping with the transitional villa-bungalow style of the 1910- 1917 period. The bay window was added with casement windows in a mixture of the villa and bungalow styles. The chimneys rebuilt after the shift also have a bungalow-style appearance lacking the corbels of the villa style.