Camp House

Egmont Road, Egmont National Park, Egmont/Taranaki National Park

  • Camp House, Egmont/Taranaki National Park.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: N Jackson. Date: 25/04/2016.
  • Camp House, Egmont/Taranaki National Park.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: N Jackson. Date: 25/04/2016.
  • Camp House, Egmont/Taranaki National Park.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: N Jackson. Date: 25/04/2016.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 7233 Date Entered 14th July 1995

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

New Plymouth District

Region

Taranaki Region

Legal description

Gaz 71-3020 Lot 15 Blk V Sec38 BlkVII-Pt Egmont National Park

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

The Camp House is one of the few surviving purpose-built structures from the New Zealand Wars and is probably the only military barracks remaining from those wars. It has had a 100 year association with mountain recreation and is possibly the oldest building in any national park.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

Aesthetic:

The half round appearance of the Camp House is quite distinctive. Since 1891 it has been sited in a splendid location with a backdrop of Mount Egmont and magnificent views of the Taranaki plains.

Archaeological:

The Camp House has occupied its present site for 103 years.

Scientific:

The corrugated iron cladding of the Camp House was made of heavy gauge galvanised wrought iron in 1855 and has been the subject of various scientific tests and articles.

Technological:

The structure holds much valuable information on the manner and method of prefabricated buildings and on the process of galvanising iron.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

Cultural:

The Camp House is one of the earliest examples of the provision of a structure specifically for the use of mountain recreationalists. It represents a continuity of association with a most important recreational activity in this country.

Social:

In its role as a military barracks the Camp House was part of a complex significant to a frontier town. Since 1891 the building has accommodated thousands of people visiting the Egmont National Park.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of

registration.

The following comments are made in relation to the criteria identified under S,23(2) of the Historic Places Act 1991

a ) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:

The building, while apparently greatly modified, does provide a tangible link to the early European military history of New Zealand. However, its removal from the original site has diminished its historical integrity somewhat. The hut has an 103 year long use for recreational purposes.

c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:

The structure, while apparently greatly modified, can provide knowledge of early European military history in New Zealand. The remaining historic fabric of the Camp House provides useful information on the early use of wrought iron structures and prefabrication of buildings.

g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

This unique prefabricated structure, designed and built in Australia, was erected on Marsland Hill circa 1856. It was originally one of four corrugated iron temporary buildings which were part of the military barracks. Four buildings were connected together lengthwise so that their inside walls were not freestanding. The Camp House originally had an open verandah; therefore we can assume that this was one of the outside barrack buildings. There is also evidence that the building was loop holed for musket fire along one facade which indicates that it was built as a defensive structure as well as for accommodation. It is the earliest example of a prefabricated military building clad in corrugated iron and designed in the half round shape.

In 1891 the barracks were dismantled and the building was transported by sled almost halfway up Mount Egmont to be used as accommodation for climbers. It was re-erected, in the same dimensions, using the original 1855 iron and presumably the original timber framing. The Camp House is unaltered in terms of size, design and materials and the integrity of the stricture, at least in its external appearance, has been essentially preserved. It is rare in its design and use of materials.

i) The importance of identifying rare types of historic places:

On two counts the Egmont Camp House qualifies as being rare.

1. There is sufficient evidence to indicate that the design and the construction of the building in its former life as a barracks was unique and ahead of its time, insofar as other examples of purpose built military structures in half round corrugated iron from the same historical period are not known to exist.

2. In its use as an accommodation house for the mountain climbers, the Camp House can claim the distinction of a 100 year association with mountain recreation, and thought to be the oldest building in any national park.

Conclusion:

The Camp House, is recommended for registration as a Category I as a place of special and outstanding historical and cultural heritage significance and value. The Camp House has strong ties to New Zealand's military and recreational history. Constructed in 1855 for military purposes, this prefabricated wrought iron structure has been used for the past 103 years as accommodation on Mount Egmont. It is significant as the earliest example of a prefabricated military, building and as possibly the oldest building in any New Zealand national park.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1856 -
Erected on Marsland Hill

Other
1891 -
Dismantled and transported by sled halfway up Mt Egmont and re-erected using original iron and presumably the original timber framing.

Information Sources

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Lambert, 1983

G & R Lambert. An Illustrated History of Taranaki, Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, 1983.

Scanlan, 1961

A B Scanlan. Egmont - The Story of a Mountain, AH & A W Reed, Wellington, 1961

Chapple, 1983

G Chapple, Maynard. Mitchell & Viscoe. Corrugated Iron in New Zealand. Reed 1983

Cowan, 1955

J Cowan. The New Zealand Wars. Vol I, Govt. Print 1955

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office

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.