Adams Gully Gold Battery Complex

Carrick Range, Central Otago

  • Adams Gully Battery Complex, Central Otago.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.
  • Adams Gully Battery Complex, Central Otago.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.
  • Adams Gully Battery Complex, Central Otago.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Date: 1/10/1983.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 5616 Date Entered 11th April 1985

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Sec 2 Blk III Bannockburn SD, (CT 3164), Otago Land District, and the sites associated with the Adams Gully Gold Battery Complex thereon. 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

Sec 2 Blk III Bannockburn SD, (CT 3164), Otago Land District

Location description

Dam: E1292679 N4994443 (NZTM)

Battery: E1292710 N4994454 (NZTM)

Hut Ruins: E1292727 N4994471 (NZTM)

In an unnamed tributary of Adams Creek, opposite the Young Australian Water Wheel.

Summaryopen/close

High on the Carrick Range at the head of Adams Gully overlooking Bannockburn in Otago sits the Adams Gully Gold Battery Complex – a battery, stone ruin and dam associated with the Young Australian quartz mine in the 1870s. The complex has technological, historical and archaeological significance showing the workings of a nineteenth century hard rock gold mine in this rugged region.

The Carrick Range was home to a cluster of hard rock gold mines and their associated stamper mills or batteries from the 1870s through until around the end of the nineteenth century. In October 1872, Adam’s Gully Quartz Mining Company and the Young Australian Mine were crushing quartz at the head of Adams Gully. In June 1874, Williams and Edwards from the Young Australian Company decided to put in their own battery and bought the ten-stamp battery from the Andreas Iverson’s Conroy’s Reef near Alexandra; by early 1875, the battery was in its new location, powered by a water wheel. By 1877, the company was struggling and the mine was sold by creditors. In 1880, a Mr Radford bought the battery, crushing stone until 1884 when he sold it to Louis Jean Hubert. The mine was abandoned for some years. It is possible that half the stamper mill was shifted to its current location when McCabe & Sons of Bannockburn reopened the mine in 1896 – operating five stamps, powered by a Pelton wheel.

The Adams Gully gold battery complex includes almost all of the elements needed to run a gold mining operation. As well as a five-head stamping battery, there is a berdan, or crushing bowl, with its iron weight lying on the ground alongside; an amalgamating drum, and the remains of a building (possibly a forge). The complex is built on a stone-faced platform or terrace with a stone wall alongside the battery and berdan. Approximately 30 m upstream from the battery, the remains of a dam can be seen in the stream bed. It may have provided water for the crusher, although it is more likely that the water was supplied by the Carrick Water Race, which passes about 100 m upstream of the complex.

In 2015, the Adams Gully Battery Complex is within the Young Australian Historic Reserve, and can be seen on the hillside opposite the Young Australian Water Wheel (List Entry No. 342).

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Relocation
1875 -
Battery shifted from Conroys Gully to Adams Gully

Relocation
1896 -
Battery shifted from site next to the Young Australian Water Wheel to its current site on the opposite side of the gully.

Original Construction
1871 -
Battery manufactured

Public NZAA Number

F42/25

Completion Date

16th February 2015

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

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