Rockville Bainham Rd, Bainham
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
13th December 1990
Lot 1 DP 4868 Blk VII Aorere SD
A post office was opened at the goldfield settlement of Riverdale on 1 July 1896. As a Riversdale already existed in Southland it was necessary to use a new name, so the surnames of two settlers, Messrs Bain and Graham, were compounded to produce the name Bainham. A telegraph office was established at Bainham on 8 September 1898 and John Bain was appointed postmaster and telephonist.
Edward Bates Langford became postmaster in 1923. From 1925 there was talk of erecting a new post office building to the plan of Okaramio Post office but in January 1928 Langford suggested that if he built a new building to combine a general store, the Post Office Department could lease part of it from him as a post office. The Post Office Department agreed and an annual rent was decided on.
It is not known who designed the building but it was built by two locals that year. About 1928 the earlier post office building was moved from across the road to its present site behind Bainham Store.
Miss Lorna Langford began working for her grandfather in 1947 when she was still at school. She became postmistress in 1952 and took over the general store in 1954. She still owns and operates the agency of New Zealand Post Ltd and the general store, having purchased the building in 1954.
Historical Significance or Value
Bainham Store has been in the hands of the well-established Golden Bay Langford family since its completion in 1928. It is a now rare example of a combined post office and rural store, once common throughout New Zealand. In recent years the store has become a well-known tourist attraction.
With many original features still intact, Bainham Store retains its original rustic character. The building looks older than its 62 years
Sited among trees on the Rockville-Bainham Road, Bainham Store is not a prominent landmark. It is, however, well-known to both locals and tourists alike.
This single storey building has a hipped roof and lean-to verandah on the street (east) elevation. The verandah is supported on four posts with simple brackets. The street elevation is clad with rusticated weatherboards and the other three elevations have corrugated iron cladding. Windows are double hung sashes.
The south end of the building houses the post office with nine original post office boxes still in place. All interior walls and ceilings are lined with tongue-and-groove boarding.
Door between post office and general store replaced with hatch.
Two north facing windows replaced.
West facing window covered with corrugated galvanised iron.
Concrete bases to two central verandah posts.
Shed and garage attached to north facade. c.1985
Nine original post office boxes.
Tongue-and-groove lining throughout.
Shed and garage attached to north facade.
Concrete slab floor, timber frame clad with corrugated iron and rusticated weatherboards. Corrugated galvanised iron roof cladding.
Archives New Zealand (Wgtn)
Archives New Zealand (Wellington)
File PO 27/9
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
Land Information New Zealand
New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)
New Zealand Historic Places Trust
Mountfort, Nigel, 'Bainham Store', research notes, copy held by NZHPT
J. Newport, Collingwood; A History of the Area from the Earliest Days to 1912, Christchurch, 1971
R. Startup, Through Gorge and Valley: A History of the Postal District of Nelson from 1842, Masterton, 1975
Carol Dawber, Carol, 'Bainham Bids Sad Farewell to Historic Post office', 21 October 1987
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
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.