Stewart Town

Menzies Terrace, Bannockburn

  • Stewart Town.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 5610 Date Entered 10th April 1985

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Pt Lot 1 DP 26776 (CT OT18D/464), Otago Land District, and the archaeological sites associated with Stewart Town. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Heritage New Zealand Board meeting on 30 April 2015.

City/District Council

Central Otago District

Region

Otago Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 1 DP 26776 (OT18D/464), Otago Land District

Summaryopen/close

Stewart Town is an archaeological site that includes the remains of a cluster of earth and stone buildings, a water race and the associated orchard, occupied by gold miners including David Stewart, John Menzies and William Roy from about 1865 until the early twentieth century. Stewart Town has historical and archaeological significance relating to the lives of the gold miners and the technologies they used.

Stewart Town sits on a terrace close to Menzies Dam and overlooks the spectacular sluicing faces of Pipe Clay Gully. The land on the south bank of the Kawarau River, stretching up to the Carrick Range, was subject to extensive mining, particularly hydraulic sluicing (Bannockburn Sluicings, List Entry No. 5612). Stewart Town was not a town rather a cluster of buildings, that existed because of the residents’ control and sale of water to miners. It is named for miner and entrepreneur David Stewart who secured the water right from Long Gully, cut a race and built a dam to store water, which he sold to miners. Access to water allowed previously unworkable areas to be mined.

Stone mason David Stewart, and miner John Downie Menzies lived in a stone building close to their reservoir (Menzies Dam, List Entry No. 5611). Menzies died in 1894 and his house, race, claims and effects were sold. Stewart Town was occupied from about 1865 until the early twentieth century. Menzies and Stewart were in Bannockburn by the mid-1860s and there is a record of an application for a residence area in both their names in 1873. David Stewart died in 1883. William Roy mined with David Stewart and John Menzies from the 1870s. In 1913, Roy’s residence area was located next to the orchard section. William Roy died in 1923. As mining declined, the land around Stewart Town became part of the landscape of small holdings and allotments characteristic of the subdivisions between Bannockburn and the Kawarau River.

Stewart Town is a collection of nine earth and stone structures centred around one stone house (the Lind house). The stone house is constructed of split schist with mud mortar, with a mud brick extension at the north end. There are traces of cement plaster on the inside. The doors, windows and fireplace have large schist slabs over them. There is a small mud-walled area adjacent to the extension that was reportedly a dairy. There appear to have been at least two compounds surrounded with mud brick walls, a small section of which remains. A race runs through the back compound, and then to a dam. In front of the Lind House is an orchard containing fruiting apple, pear and apricot trees.

The land on which Stewart Town stands was included in the Bannockburn Sluicings Historic Reserve gazetted in 2000. In 2014, Stewart Town remains part of the Bannockburn Sluicings Historic Reserve.

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1865 -

Public NZAA Number

F41/72

Completion Date

11th February 2015

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Otago Goldfields, n.d.

Otago Goldfields Park pamphlet

Stephenson, 2004

Janet Stephenson, Heather Bauchop and Peter Petchey, 'Bannockburn Heritage Landscape Study', Department of Conservation, Science and Research Unit, Wellington 2004

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 Otago-Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand