94 Holyhead Street, Outram

  • Balmoral.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Heather Bauchop.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3232 Date Entered 14th April 2005


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes land, building, fixtures and fittings in Certificate of Title OT12B/246. The registration applies only to the house known as Balmoral, and not to the surrounding outbuildings and garages (see plan in Appendix 4 of registration report).

City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 20759 (CT OT12B/346), Otago Land District


Balmoral was built by Donald Borrie, one of the earlier European settlers in the Outram area. Borrie arrived in Dunedin in 1852 from Dunkeld in Scotland. He built a sod hut near the ford over the Taieri River. The ford was well known to both Maori and Europeans in the area. Borrie was the first ferryman, officially appointed to that post in 1857. It was in that year that the first portion of Balmoral (the section with the twin dormer windows) was built facing the river.

When the gold rushes began in the early 1860s a small settlement sprung up around the ferry crossing. The township survived severe floods in 1868, and 1877, which Balmoral survived.

Donald Borrie died at age 73, a noted property owner in the area. After his death the house was leased in 1891 to James and Janet Cullen.

James Cullen was born in Glasgow, coming to Otago in 1845, working in a store, before taking up a farm on the East Taieri. In 1890 he purchased a farm on West Taieri. He was a member of the East Taieri Road Board, and a Deacon of the East Taieri Presbyterian Church. Cullen was another Taieri settler, who at 73 retired from his East Taieri property Owhiro, and continued to farm on a smaller scale. Janet Cullen died in March 1902. After James' death in April 1905, the farm at Balmoral was leased out.

From 1905 to 1940 Balmoral was leased to David Wylie and family, and after that to his son Graham. In the period from 1914 to 1925 Balmoral was renowned for its farm holidays, with its attractive garden, good food and peaceful surroundings.

In 1934 the land was still owned by Eliza Borrie. After Eliza Borrie's death in 1941, the property was sold (OT264/163), marking the end of an association with the Borrie family of nearly ninety years.

Market gardener Frank Ferguson took over the property in the 1946 (OT321/43). In 1976 the land around the house, which included market gardens, was subdivided in order to sell the property separately. On Frank Ferguson's death the property was transferred to Neville Ferguson, the current owner.

In 1988 the property was shifted twenty metres to new foundations, and rotated ninety degrees to catch the sun. The house was the homestead for the Balmoral Market Gardens.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Balmoral has architectural and historical significance. Balmoral is associated with the early settlement of the Taieri Plains, particularly the establishment of the settlement at Outram (Taieri Ferry). Donald Borrie was an the first Ferryman at this point on the Taieri River, and became a prominent and well known settler. The house was a well known destination for holiday visits, and represents that aspect of the history of leisure activities in the early twentieth century.

Architecturally Balmoral represents an early homestead in the region, designed and built by the owner.

Balmoral reflects the early period of settlement on the Taieri Plains, an important aspect of the history of the Otago Region. Donald Borrie's life is a reminder of the path from new migrant to established settler of some means, and this is an important association in the Otago region, where the descendants of that family have been prominent.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Borrie, Donald

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

Balmoral is a two-storey weatherboard house. It has two parallel gables (one is one and a half storeys high, the other two), intersected by another gable perpendicularly placed. Gabled dormers are cut into the roof. The house has carved bargeboards, and finials at the gable ends.

The house was built in two stages. The first stage in 1857, saw the construction of the one and a half-storey single-gabled section. The second stage, completed in the mid-1860s, saw the larger two-storey gabled section built. The house was largely unaltered into the 1980s.

In 1988 the owners moved Balmoral about 20 metres from its original site, and rotated it 90 degrees to catch the sun. During the renovation, the original cladding was kept where possible. The wooden window joinery was replaced with aluminium. There was some alteration to layout on the ground floor, while the layout on the first floor remained true to the original. The interior was reclad in timber milled on the property.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1857 -

1865 -

1988 -
Relocation, rotation and restoration

Construction Details

Originally constructed of kauri.

Information Sources

McIndoe, 1970

John McIndoe, Taieri Buildings, Dunedin, 1970

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

Supplement, 17 April 1905, p.3.

2 June 1976.

Shaw, 1949

Margaret Shaw and Edgar D. Farrant, The Taieri Plain: Tales of the Years that are Gone, Otago Centennial Historical Publications, Dunedin, 1949

Star Midweek

Star Midweek

29 June 1988, p.1

Tyrrell, 1996

A.R. Tyrrell, River Punts and Ferries of Southern New Zealand, Otago Heritage Books, Dunedin, 1996

Griffiths, 1974

G J Griffiths (ed), The Advance Guard, Series 3, Otago Daily Times, Dunedin, 1974

Other Information

fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Otago / Southland Area 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.