Libeau Cottage

Rue Grehan, Akaroa

  • Libeau Cottage. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection.
  • Libeau Cottage.
    Copyright: Kenny Walker. Taken By: Kenny Walker. Date: 1/01/1960.
  • Libeau Cottage.
    Copyright: Kenny Walker. Taken By: Kenny Walker. Date: 1/01/1960.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7354 Date Entered 13th December 1996

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Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 55440 (CT CB33F/498), Canterbury Land District and the building known as Libeau Cottage thereon.

City/District Council

Christchurch City

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 55440 (CT CB33F/498), Canterbury Land District

Location description

Libeau Cottage is located between numbers 58 and 60 Rue Grehan, AKAROA

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Historical Significance or Value

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

Historical:

Libeau Cottage is claimed to have been built during the 1850s as one of three small cottages on land owned by Joseph Libeau (1807-83). One of the early French colonists at Akaroa, Libeau, a gardener, fathered 17 children. The cottage has been altered on several occasions, most drastically during the 1970s.

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

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

This cottage is a tangible reminder of an unusual event in New Zealand's early colonial history, the French settlement of Akaroa. James Belich describes it as "...not entirely farcical. For at least five years, some 300 French settlers and naval personnel, together with a fluctuating number of whalers, lived as a little French semi-state, under French law and French custom" Joseph Libeau "had the honour of being the first French settler to be convicted by a British Court" in August 1845 when a fellow Frenchman had him convicted and fined for allowing his cattle to trespass. Both Joseph Libeau and his descendants, notably Joseph Libeau Jnr, who fathered a further 14 offspring, played important roles in the history of the Akaroa area.

(b) The association of the place with events, persons, or ideas of importance in New Zealand history:

Events: No events of significance have been associated with this place apart from the expected ones of construction, alteration and change of ownership.

Persons: Joseph Libeau was a gardener who came out to Akaroa in the Comte de Paris in 1840. He was the first Frenchman to be subjected to British justice. He and his descendants were involved in the early farming and brickmaking industries on Banks Peninsula.

Ideas: While the cottage is in itself rather humble, it is a tangible reminder of the abortive French colony at Banks Peninsula.

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Construction Dates

Original Construction
1850 -

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Southern 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.