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History and historic houses in Rangitikei

Sunday 19 November 2017, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm


Join us on a day trip, by bus, to the lower Rangitikei to view historic houses and churches and other evidence of early history unique to the region.

The bus will depart Te Papa at 8.30am, first stop Bulls Museum where you will be welcomed, with refreshments, and the opportunity to view their collections.

A visit to two historic houses follows.  ‘Lethenty’ built by Sir James Wilson, combines the Georgian style architecture with the floral exuberance of the Arts and Crafts movement.  Built in 1925 after the original family residence burnt down, furniture and household items were purchased from antique shops and auction houses in Scotland and England in the early years and during the First World War. The house has been continuously occupied by three generations of the same family and apart from losses during the fire, the majority of the original furniture and effects remain intact.

‘Beccles’ built in the mid 1850’s by Charles Bulls, constructed of locally milled heart totara and kauri joinery.  There have been variety of owners over the last 50 years and the current owners have lovingly restored this home. The garden has a notable collection of heritage roses and at the rear of the section, the well preserved Willis Redoubt, built during the land wars dispute in the 1860’s.

There is time to lunch and browse the antique shops before we board the bus for Parewanui to view Te Wheriko Church built 1862 and Scotts Ferry which serviced the district from 1850 until 1908 and viewing the exterior of Flock House, built in 1908 will reveal the complex and ornate form of the building featuring early elements of the arts and crafts style.

Nearby is the memorial to Bess “the war horse” presented to the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, formed in 1914, and allocated to Captain Guy Powles.  That Bess rests in her homeland is a profound example of the very special bond that developed between man and horse.  Bess is believed to be the only horse that remained with one owner throughout the war and returned to New Zealand.

On the return trip to Wellington we will view St Thomas’ Church in Sanson.  Constructed in 1877, this timber country church is one of the earliest remaining churches in the region.  Designed by Charles Tringham, it demonstrates Gothic Revival influences and the architect’s aptitude in working in this architectural style.

Cost: $95.00 includes bus, guides and admissions.  Lunch is at your own expense.


Sunday 19 November 2017
8:30 am - 6:00 pm
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