Symes Road, Fruitlands
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Able to Visit
28th June 1984
Central Otago District
Pt.Otago Goldfields Park Sec 101 Pt 84 Blk I Cairnhill SD
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
Completed in 1904, this stone cottage is situated at Fruitlands, Central Otago near Alexandra in Vincent County.
Built by Scottish immigrant and miner John Mitchell, the cottage and adjacent stonework are constructed out of local schist stone. The design is simple and includes two large rooms, three smaller ones, including a kitchen, and two chimneys. The building is arguably one of the best examples of the stone mason's art still surviving from the turn of the century, or before, in New Zealand. There was virtually no mortar used on the building which remains in extremely good condition. John Mitchell, who wasn't a stone mason, erected the cottage with his brother Andrew's help. Andrew learnt the skill of stone masonry from his father and put it to good use in Central Otago.
Mitchell was one of the thousands of gold miners who came to the Otago region in the early 1860s. It is reputed that with his brother and his cousin, Jim White, he had a share in a gold reef that yielded upwards of £100,000 worth of gold. If he was a rich man his simple stone cottage didn't show it.
An attractive building Mitchell's cottage is one of the best examples of Central Otago dry stone architecture which gains immeasurably from its splendid setting with stone walls enclosing the former garden and the sheepfolds merging with the giant schist tors.
Public NZAA Number
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.