Brooklands Homestead

71 Brookland Road, Goodwood

  • Brooklands Homestead. November 1994. Original image submitted at time of registration .
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: L Galer.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5238 Date Entered 19th April 1990


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 21900 (CT OT13C/833), Otago Land District and the building known as Brooklands Homestead thereon. The extent does not include other buildings and structures on the land.

City/District Council

Waitaki District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 21900 (CT OT13C/833), Otago Land District


Designed in 1867 by one of New Zealand's pre-eminent nineteenth century architects, R.A. Lawson, for his brother-in-law James Paterson Hepburn’s Brooklands estate, this Scottish baronial-style residence is a landmark building at Goodwood, North Otago. Brooklands homestead has architectural significance as an example of Lawson’s residential designs and historical significance for its association with the early Brooklands farm.

Scottish-born merchant William Dalrymple took up land at Goodwood in 1854. Shortly afterwards, in 1856, he set his sights on being a runholder and offered Brooklands (as he called the estate) for sale – 410 acres [166 hectares] of open land, 100 acres [40 hectares] of timbered land, a ‘comfortable Dwelling-house’ and a ‘Labourers Cottage.’ In 1857, George Hepburn (1803-1883) bought Brooklands for his sons James and George. Hepburn brought his wife and family of eight from Fifeshire to Dunedin in 1850, becoming a prominent businessman, churchman and politician. George Hepburn’s letters mention ‘[t]here is also a very good dwelling house, weather boarded and lined, consisting of three rooms below and four small bedrooms above. There is also a very good clay house at a little distance for the men servants. Indeed a very great deal of work has been done during the last two years, the proprietor fancying it to be a homestead for him and his family.’ George and James moved in and set about erecting new farm buildings, including a stone barn in 1859 (Register No. 5228).

James Hepburn commissioned R.A. Lawson to design a new residence. Lawson advertised for tenders in January 1867. The house was one-and-a-half storeys, with five small bedrooms on the first floor, and two living rooms with a lean-to kitchen, scullery and bathroom on the ground floor. In style, Brooklands House is similar to Lawson’s Park’s School in Dunedin (Register No. 2172). Built of locally quarried limestone, the ‘elegant and substantial house’ was later rough cast. The roof was slate (later replaced with corrugated iron).

The Hepburn boys did not get to live long lives at Brooklands. George Hepburn Junior died at Brooklands in 1862, David Hepburn in 1870 and James Paterson Hepburn in 1875. The youngest brother Andrew and his wife Janet lived at Brooklands in the early years of their marriage until around 1878. After James’ death, Brooklands was put up for sale. The sale notice described the estate: ‘together with the improvements, consisting of a substantially built two-storey Stone Dwelling House, Stone Barn, large Stable, &c.’ James Kilgour bought and leased Brooklands to his son Alexander. The farm was subdivided in 1906 – the plan showing the homestead surrounded by hedges, and near to the house, a shed and a stable. Closer to the road are a cow byre, yards and stable. In 1907, Frank McCallum bought the homestead block. Brooklands remained in the McCallum family until around 1984. The house was known locally as ‘The Castle’. When Duncan McCallum died the property was sold. In 2014, Brooklands House remains a private residence.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Lawson, Robert Arthur

Born in Scotland, Lawson (1833-1902) began his professional career in Perth. At the age of 25 he moved to Melbourne and was engaged in goldmining and journalism before resuming architectural practice. In 1862 Lawson sailed for Dunedin, where his sketch plans had won the competition for the design of First Church. This was built 1867-73. Lawson went on to become one of the most important architects in New Zealand. First Church is regarded as his masterpiece and one of the finest nineteenth century churches in New Zealand.

He was also responsible for the design of the Trinity Church (now Fortune Theatre), Dunedin (1869-70), the East Taieri Presbyterian Church (1870), and Knox Church, Dunedin (1874). He designed Park's School (1864) and the ANZ Bank (originally Union Bank, 1874). In Oamaru he designed the Bank of Otago (later National Bank building, 1870) and the adjoining Bank of New South Wales (now Forrester Gallery, 1881).

See also: Ledgerwood, Norman, 2013. 'R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin'. Historic Cemeteries Conservation NZ.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1867 -

Completion Date

22nd April 2014

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Ledgerwood (2013)

Norman Ledgerwood, R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin, Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand, Dunedin, 2013

Hutton, 2010

Don Barrie Hutton (ed), The Journal of George Hepburn On His Voyage from Scotland to Otago in 1850…with extracts from his letters written from Otago, revised edition, D B Hutton, Christchurch, 2010.

Other Information

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

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.