Melrose House, in Brougham Street, is one of the last surviving "grand" homes of Nelson. Melrose House was designed by Mr J Scotland and built about 1876 for Mr Charles Fowell Willett Watts, who arrived at Nelson in the ship "Will Watch" in 1841. The once ornate interior however was stripped in 1973 when the Women's Division of Federated farmers, to whom it had been bequeathed, stopped using it as a holiday rest home.
Melrose is owned by Nelson City Council who maintain the exterior of the house and the beautiful grounds which have an historic places rating. The interior is managed by the Melrose Society. Since 1974 the Society has worked to preserve and refurbish the interior, so it can be used by groups and organisations in the community, as well as hired out for private social functions.