Daisy Hill Cottage

Opihi Road, Pleasant Point

  • Daisy Hill Cottage. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3146 Date Entered 2nd April 2004


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes the building, its fixtures and fittings, and land on CT CB24F/657

City/District Council

Timaru District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 4990 (CT CB24F/657)


Henry Collett was born in Wales in 1831, and went to sea at the age of 11. He travelled to many countries, and was in the transport service in the Crimean War. After the war, Collett went to Australia and joined the gold rushes. In 1859 he came to New Zealand with a cargo of sheep, and worked on various stations around South Canterbury, including Raincliff, where he worked as a stockman. This enabled him to gain an understanding of the land in the vicinity and learn of various areas' potential for a small farmer to establish himself.

Collett married in 1863 and had two daughters and one son. His first land, a 40 acre Crown Grant dated 1 November 1866 (Deeds Ref.: 52D 320), was in good limestone country on the southern side of the Opihi River, inland from Pleasant Point. This was the first phase of closer settlement in this area of South Canterbury. With his skills and success in farming sheep and horses Collett was rapidly able to expand his holdings, bringing them to a total of 400 acres.

He called the property "Daisy Hill" after an Australian goldfield, a name which conjures romantic images but has no apparent relevance for this site today. Current owners acknowledge the cottage's history and original owners by calling it Collett Cottage.

It is presumed the cottage was built as soon as the land was taken up. Workable limestone, suitable for building purposes, was available close to the house. It is reputed that versatile Henry Collett constructed this dwelling himself. The site is well chosen on the higher ground of a river terrace, thus avoiding the frequent flooding of the Opihi River - which continues to plague other landowners down river.

Collett was supportive of the local community's development and served on the local school committee from its establishment. The first school classes in this district were held in the Collett home.

Today the cottage continues to display its pioneer character, with no electricity, running water or sewage connection.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Historical significance as a home from the first wave of settlement of the area.

Architectural significance as an uncommon example of a simple stone homestead, built by its owner.

Daisy Hill Cottage has social significance as an example of a typical small pioneer farmhouse.

(a) A good example of a small pioneer homestead.

(g) An unusual example of a stone-built homestead using material found close at hand.

(i) The house dates from when this land was first taken up.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Collett, Henry

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

A simple single-storied cottage built of locally hewn limestone blocks. The house probably originally consisted of just two rooms divided by a central passage leading to the lean-to kitchen/scullery area at the rear, perhaps first constructed of timber. The present substantial lean-to clearly shows that the stone work was done after the front section was completed. After this, the lean-to was extended again to create what was possibly a dairy - which is set at a lower level, some 200mm into the ground. A zinc-meshed safe is set into an exterior wall.

Also at a slightly later date an extension with more refined stonework was added to the side of the house. This provided another bedroom accessed from the verandah and a storeroom at the rear. The completed cottage contained a parlour with a fire place backing on to the kitchen's range, two bedrooms, a large scullery and some miscellaneous storage rooms. Decorative features are the scalloped timber bargeboards that finish the front gable end and the timber brackets of the verandah posts.

Construction Dates

2002 -
1940s red enamel Shacklock range in poor condition replaced by an 1889 model Shacklock.

Original Construction
1866 - 1867

Over the last 30 years minor internal changes have been made to kitchen section.

Construction Details

Limestone with an iron roof.

Completion Date

7th September 2004

Report Written By

Pam Wilson

Information Sources

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1903

Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 3, Canterbury Provincial District, Christchurch, 1903

pp. 935-6.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

South Canterbury Branch Committee Notes.

Other Information

A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Southern Region Office.

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.