7 Villiers Street, Arrowtown

  • Reidhaven.
    Copyright: Mr J D Reid. Taken By: Mr J D Reid. Date: 7/10/2009.
  • Reidhaven.
    Copyright: Mr J D Reid. Taken By: Mr J D Reid. Date: 7/10/2009.
  • Reidhaven.
    Copyright: Mr J D Reid. Taken By: Mr J D Reid. Date: 7/10/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2116 Date Entered 24th November 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 3 DP 408944 (CT 432806), Otago Land District and the house and dairy buildings known as Reidhaven thereon.

City/District Council

Queenstown-Lakes District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 3 DP 408944 (CT 432806), Otago Land District


Built in 1866 by James Reid, this stone cottage on Villiers Street is perhaps Arrowtown’s earliest extant building. It is associated with Arrowtown’s first dairy farm which provisioned the fledgling settlement. Little changed from when it was built, the cottage is also architecturally and aesthetically significant.

For over 147 years, the cottage has remained in Reid family ownership, each generation active in civic and community affairs. Emigrating from Orkney in 1864, James Reid (1833?-1922), took up gold mining in the Arrow district, where the family lived in canvas tents. Securing land in Villiers Street, towards the end of 1866 they moved into their first home.

Reidhaven, as the house became known, was probably the first residence in Arrowtown, although one or two others were finished soon after. The house, built on a hillside above the Arrow River from local schist rock, had walls 44 centimetres thick. It was more substantial than most as it was four ‘cells’ wide, each with its own doorway. The floor was beaten earth, later replaced by red beech.

James turned from gold mining to farming. Beginning with one paddock, he built up a farm of 113 hectares. By 1873, Reidhaven included a dairy which provisioned the fledgling settlement. A licensed dairy farm until 1948, Reidhaven still relied on a trough of cold water as its only means of refrigeration. James also kept pigs, although they were less popular amongst townsfolk as a result of their frequent escapes. James also had the first reaper and binder in the district; an accident with which saw his hand amputated at the wrist, without anaesthetic.

In 1916, John Reid (1871-1947), the fifth child of eight, took over the farm and eventually Reidhaven. He also served as mayor to the township, like his father before him. John renovated Reidhaven including some reroofing, removal of the chimney and the addition of a timber verandah extension. The stone and timber home came to have three bedrooms.

Jack Reid, John’s son who also later served as Mayor, took over ownership of Reidhaven in 1953. He engaged architect Michael Wyatt to design two porches. Apart from these additions there have been few obvious changes since 1866. In 2006, property developer Eamon Cleary purchased the house. Under the terms of the sale, Jack Reid is able to live in Reidhaven until his death.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1866 -

Verandah added, exterior chimney removed and some internal alterations

Two porches added

Completion Date

18th March 2014

Report Written By

Susan Irvine

Information Sources

Miller, 1973

F.W.G Miller, Golden Days of Lake County, 5th edn, Christchurch, 1973

Queenstown Courier

Queenstown Courier

Jack Reid, ‘“Reidhaven”, Villers Street’ [sic], Queenstown Courier, Queenstown and District Historical Society, No. 79, Autumn 2008, pp. 12-13.

Bowman and Reid, 2005

Ian Bowman and Becky Reid, ‘An Inventory of heritage structures in Arrowtown’, Queenstown, Queenstown Lakes District Council, 2005.

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Area Office of the NZHPT.

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.