Maungaraupi Homestead

Leedstown Road, Marton

  • Maungaraupi Homestead.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Helen McCracken. Date: 24/01/2002.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Helen McCracken. Date: 24/01/2002.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4916 Date Entered 2nd July 1987


City/District Council

Rangitikei District


Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 2 DP51061 Lot 3 DP57323 Blk9 Ongo SD Blk12 Whangaehu SD

Location description

338a Leedstown Rd


Maungaraupi Homestead, built in 1906, is an important example of the work of Charles Tilliard Natusch (1859-1952), an English-born architect who settled in New Zealand in 1886 and established an architectural practice in the 1890s. The land on which the homestead stands was acquired by the noted naturalist William Swainson (1789-1855) and later by his son-in-law Major John Williams Marshall (1814-1891) of the 65th Regiment. Maungaraupi Homestead was built for Marshall's son from his first marriage, William Swainson Marshall (d.1926). William had inherited his grandfather's passion for natural history and ethnology and was a foundation member of the Polynesian Society (est. 1892), one of the oldest learned societies in the Southern Hemisphere. In 1892 he married Elizabeth Hilda Swainson, the second daughter of William Swainson of Te Rakehou, Fielding.

The homestead was built by James McChesney of Marton and designed in the Tudor style favoured by Natusch and fashionable in the early decades of the 20th century. The building's exterior features the half-timbering typical of the style. Inside are rimu floors, walls, doors and panelled ceilings. Maungaraupi remained in the family until the 1980s, first as a family home and later as a guesthouse. Today it is a private dwelling and function centre with accommodation.

Maungaraupi is a fine example of the work of one of New Zealand's better-known domestic architects, Charles Natusch. The homestead is noted for its fine workmanship and the detailing evident in the interior. It is historically significant for its links to the Swainson family and John Williams Marshall.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Natusch, C.T. & Sons

Charles Tilleard Natusch (1859-1951) completed his architectural studies in England in 1882, after which he travelled in the United States and Canada. He returned to England in 1883 to become involved in the town planning and development of Southend-on-Sea. He immigrated to New Zealand in 1886 and after a short collaboration with Atkins & Clere, established a practice in Wellington as an architect and quantity surveyor. He then moved to Masterton, Pahiatua and finally to Napier, where he bought the architectural practice of Robert Lamb. From 1908 Natusch worked with his three sons, Aleck, Rene and Stanley. The firm received many domestic commissions from the farming community. Its well known houses include Bushy Park (Kai Iwi), Gwavas (Tikokino), Matapiro (Napier), Maungaraupi (Marton) and Wharerata (Massey University). Following several changes of name and three generations of Natusch architects, the family practice continues today as Natusch Partnership in Napier.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

A two storey house of 836 square meters with a single storey service wing attached to the southern side. The ground floor exterior is weatherboarded and the upper storey half-timbered. The latter incorporates gabled balconies jettied out over the ground floor. There is a water tower built into the north western corner of the house. Inside there is a beautifully panelled staircase hall. Other main rooms include the dining room, drawing room, smoking room, former school room and entrance hall with inglenook.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1906 -

Completion Date

11th October 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources

Alexander Turnbull Library

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

William Marshall, fl 1906, 'Architectural plans and building accounts for house at Munguraupio', 81-288.

Scholefield, 1940

G. H. Scholefield, A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington, 1940

John Williams Marshall (1814-1891)

William Swainson (1789-1855)

Taihape Daily Times

Taihape Daily Times

22 September 1926

Other Information

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.