Farm Building

4 Mcadie Road And Moa Creek Road, Poolburn

  • Farm Building.
    Copyright: Central Otago District Council. Taken By: Central Otago District Council. Date: 1/03/2011.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5219 Date Entered 19th April 1990


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 409500 (CT 434796), Otago Land District, and the Farm Building thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Heritage New Zealand Board meeting on 26 February 2015.

City/District Council

Central Otago District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 409500 (CT 434796), Otago Land District


This mudbrick farm building, probably built in the early years of the twentieth century for Poolburn farmer Malcolm Isbister, stands as a good example of a vernacular farm building.

The land on which the farm building was constructed was part of a small farm in the nineteenth century. The Otago Land Board granted William Burren’s application for a deferred payment license for Section 1 Block X in the Poolburn district in June 1880, and he was granted freehold title in July 1883. No structures are shown on this section in an 1879 block survey – on section 1 there are two tail races and a gravel reserve. A Warren Burren is listed as a baker in nearby Ophir throughout the 1880s, so Burren may have farmed part time, though he was secretary of the Ida Valley Farmers Co. Ltd for a period. Burren was in financial difficulties in the 1890s, his mortgagor advertised the farm for sale in 1891, although it was not sold. The sale notice makes no mention of any substantial outbuildings, recording only a ‘stone Dwelling house and Fencing and other improvements thereon’ indicating perhaps that the farm building was built after this date. In 1899, Burren was forced by his mortgagor to sell the farm. Malcolm Isbister was the new owner.

Malcolm Isbister was an Orcadian, who had moved to New Zealand in 1878, arriving in Port Chalmers before settling in Central Otago. He is listed as a carpenter in Ophir in the 1880s and 1890s (though he had some land holdings as well). Malcolm Isbister owned the farm until his death in 1923. Harley Rutherford bought the farm after Isbister’s death.

The present building looks to have been constructed in the early years of the twentieth century. Valuation records for the property from 1911 describe a dwelling and a ‘shed/stable’ that was five years old at the time the property was valued. Architect and engineer Geoffrey Thornton writes in his book The New Zealand Heritage of Farm Buildings that this building is an interesting example of an adobe building, which had served the functions of blacksmith’s shop, granary and implement shed. The granary had a wooden floor and plastered interior walls. There were doors in the yard side and the end wall of the building, making for convenient access. The building is L-shaped in plan, it has a corrugated iron roof, and timber doors and window frames. The small windows are multi-paned. In 2014, it remains a farm building.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Completion Date

3rd December 2014

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Thornton, 1986

Geoffrey Thornton, The New Zealand Heritage of Farm Buildings, Auckland, 1986

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand.