New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga
 

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Nelson & Marlborough Heritage Sites

Bishops School
Fyffe House
Rai Valley Cottage

Regarded as New Zealand’s sunniest province, the Marlborough region is an area of great natural beauty which occupies the north-eastern corner of the South Island. The landscape is diverse, stretching from the sheltered waterways of the Marlborough Sounds to Kaikoura, where snow-capped mountains meet the sea.

The sheltered coastal bays of Marlborough supported a small Maori population from possibly as early as the twelfth century. Anthropologists have christened this part of central Aotearoa, Waenganui, which stretched from the inland Ureweras to Kaiapohia. Maori in the region lived by fishing and cultivating crops, including kumara, a sweet potato.

Marlborough was not sighted by Europeans until the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770. Sixty years later, the first European settlers were drawn by the rich coastline and arrived to set up whaling stations here.

Today the region’s economy is still rural based, with pastoral and horticultural farming providing a major source of income. Wine production has been one of the fastest growing industries and Marlborough is now one of New Zealand’s largest wine producing regions.

 

Bishops School (1844)

43 Nile Street, Nelson

 

Bishops School was built in 1844 in Nelson for the Church of England elementary school, which had begun in 1842. It was later briefly used as a public school, then from 1860 to 1895 it was again an Anglican church school for boys.

In 1881 a new wooden schoolhouse was built, with one brick wall from the original building. The building was later used as a library and meeting room, private primary school, and scout and guide room. The New Zealand Historic Places Trust restored the school house in 1975. Articles of Victorian school days are displayed inside.

Open Sundays 1-4pm until 16 April (Easter Sunday)
Triona Rawlence
Chair, NZHPT Nelson Branch Committee
|tel: 03 548 4794
email: rawlence@clear.net.nz
OR
Nelson Provincial Museum
tel: 03 547 9740
email: enquiries@museumnp.org.nz
 
Bishops School
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Fyffe House

62 Avoca Street, Kaikoura, Marlborough

 

The scenic Kaikoura Peninsula has attracted both Maori and Pakeha settlers for several hundred years.

Robert Fyfe founded the Waiopuka Whaling Station and the home he built in 1842 is known today as Fyffe House. Built of native timbers with lath and plaster interior walls and mud and straw insulation, the house rests on whalebone foundations. The house was extended in 1860 by Fyffe (Robert’s cousin — spelt differently) and his wife Catherine. In 1868 it became the home of Joseph and Margaret Goodall and their family. Joseph held a variety of public offices and then managed the nearby wharf as well as building the Pier Hotel.

In the twentieth century the house became home of the Low family for over sixty years. Their cows, sheep, hens and vegetable gardens are gone, but some of the their furniture remains in the house, as well as George’s boat. The Lows bequeathed the house to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1981.

Today Fyffe House is the town’s oldest building and remains virtually unchanged from its whaling era origins.

The town of Kaikoura has retained its links with its whaling past, and today is known internationally as the whale watching capital of the world.

Open: 1 November - 30 April: daily 10am - 5.30pm,
1 May-31 October: Thursday - Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Find out more about Fyffe House
tel: (03) 319-5835
fax: (03) 319-5837
email: fyffe@historic.co.nz
 
Fyffe House
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Fyffe House
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Rai Valley Cottage

Opouri Road, Rai Valley, near Nelson, Marlborough

 

This handmade colonial cottage is built from totara slabs and was home to Charles and Tilly Turner and their four children from the early 1880’s until 1909. Their life was typical of early pioneering families; Charles felled bush and worked on the roads in the area whilst Tilly stayed at home raising their children and growing vegetables to feed the family and passing travellers.

Their house can be viewed during daylight hours though glass viewing panels.
tel: (03) 571-6393
 
Rai Valley Cottage
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Other Historic Sites

The New Zealand Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai also manages a number of heritage sites throughout New Zealand.

 

 

A House in its Setting

Fyffe House, one of New Zealand’s oldest houses, was once part of a much larger complex of which only a few archaeological remains have survived. It is in an area that has been inhabited for possibly up to one thousand years so any work on the house or surrounding area produces interesting finds.

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