Langley Dale Station Homestead
North Bank Road, Renwick
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Private/No Public Access
28th June 1990
Lot 1 DP 2089 Blk XV Onamakutu SD
William Adams came to New Zealand in 1850 and took up the Redwood run in Avondale Valley. In 1854 he acquired a more accessible run in the Wairau Valley on which he had, by 1857, began building Langley Dale homestead. Adams became a leader of the Marlborough separatist movement and in 1859 Thomas Gore Brown, the Governor of New Zealand, visited Langley Dale and there signed the document separating Marlborough from Nelson. Adams became Superintendent of the new province.
Langley Dale has passed through the hands of several Adams descendants, some of whom have been prominent in local affairs, and is now owned by the fourth generation of the family. It has been considerably extended, notable in 1870 and 1905, reflecting the growing wealth of the family at those times. Also remarkable has been the lack of change since about 1905.
Historical Significance or Value
Langley Dale is significant as the homestead of an important early run, and the resident of William Adams, a notable figure in provincial government, and of his descendants, who have also been active in local affairs.
Langley Dale is remarkable for its mix of styles from various periods, surviving with very little modification in the last eighty years. It illustrates the way in which the house grew as the wealth of the owners increased. Langley Dale constitutes an excellent record of changing architectural style, building methods and taste of its owners from the 1850s to the Edwardian period. While many New Zealand houses have grown in this way, few have retained cob-walled rooms, original wallpaper, gold leaf scotia, and early doors fittings, along with iron and wooden verandah decoration, a grand easy-pitched staircase and pressed-metal ceiling in good original condition.
Although not visible from North Bank Road the house has a fine large garden setting with mature trees.
Langley Dale is a homestead built in stages over a period of some years. The oldest section, dating from 1857 or earlier, has two cob-walled rooms with local stone slab flooring. The remainder of this early section is in timber, and includes the original dining room and kitchen with bedrooms upstairs under a simple gable roof. A second gable, over the kitchen, was added at an early stage.
The next major addition, about 1870 was of four large rooms on the east side of the house. The front door faces south and has a pedimented portico. It opens into a passageway created between the old and newer sections. The original four-panel doors, porcelain door handles and wall coverings are still in place. About 1880 a timber verandah with an ornate cast iron balustrade was erected on the east façade and the upstairs windows were converted to French doors opening on to the verandah.
In 1905 a large wing which included a rear dining room, a ground floor hallway and staircase with bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, was added to the north. Downstairs the floors are dark polished timber and a dado of richly embossed coagulum runs along each wall. Elegant pressed steel ceilings are fitted in the dining room, hallway and above the stair landings. The rooms have large double hung sash windows and large bays protrude on the north and east facades.
A final addition along the north side of the house shortly after 1905 comprised an office and other small rooms. By connecting the dairy and store this created a courtyard at the back of the house.
The exterior of the building is clad in lapped weatherboards on the older sections and rusticated weatherboards elsewhere. Roofs of varying pitch and height are gable ended and clad with corrugated iron.
The final form of the house reflects its piecemeal construction. The 1905 wing overshadows the older sections of the house and in particular dominates the garden façade. Although its form hasn't changed in over eighty years Langley Dale's various additions can be clearly seen.
Oldest part of the building (c1857) is of cob; remainder is timber with corrugated iron roofing.
Ken Berry, Scrutiny on the County. Marlborough County Council, 1986.
Frances Porter (ed), Historic Buildings of Dunedin, South Island, Methuen, Auckland, 1983.
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.