Stone Homestead

842 Moorland Settlement Road, Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury

  • Stone Homestead. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7428 Date Entered 30th June 1998


Extent of List Entry

Extent of registration is the land described as Lot 1 DP 79410 (CT CB45C/545), Canterbury Land District and the buildings known as Stone Homestead and Stone Shed, and their fittings and fixtures. The extent of registration does not include the Cook House

City/District Council

Waimate District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 79410 (CT CB45C/545), Canterbury Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.


The Stone Homestead was designed in the Victorian Colonial Simple Box Cottage style of the period 1837-1901. Style indicators are:

- Plain Georgian styling with rectangular T plan and symmetrical facade.

- Hipped and gable roof forms.

- Gable ends.

- Eight and twelve light casement and sash windows.

- Verge boards.

- Brick chimneys with moulded tops.

- Vernacular coursed rubble construction (possibly limestone, c.f. Hakataramea Station Woolshed.)

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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

DATE: 1862-64: 1878


Not known. Possibly the 1860s part of the building was designed by J.S. Dalzell, the 1878 part by J. McGregor, and the place built by station hands.


Victorian Colonial Simple Box Cottage (T Plan), of the period 1837-1901


The Stone Homestead reflects the basic simplicity of the early squatter's life in South Canterbury where a simple box like shell of a house was initially put up and added to later when time and money permitted, Dalzell's simple rectangular three room cottage with a conventional hipped roof can be seen to the left of the gable end on the present building. As the present owner indicates in his history, two of these three rooms would have been typical general purpose rooms serving as "parlour.. and everything". The Kitchen was in the middle. Later McGregor added a gable ended extension containing three rooms at right angles to Dalzell's cottage, thus forming a typical T Plan cottage, - a configuration which has remained to the present day.

Several features are of interest. The place is claimed to have been constructed of River stone up to a metre thick at the base and painted black to resemble expensive bluestone (basalt or trachyandesite). The latter was a popular building stone in Otago at the time, but in fact the stone masonry of the Stone Homestead reveals a relatively high quality of workmanship and the original builders need not have tried to hide this detail with paint except for reasons of fashion. The fact that they did is an interesting aspect of the architectural history of the place recorded in historical photographs. The walls of the building, however, in fact show that it was constructed of coursed rubble which required that only the outer faces of the blocks should be left undressed. There are moreover high quality dressed stone quoins and architraves on the 1878 extension which probably reflect the greater financial resources of McGregor. On a purely comparative basis the riverstone of the place is probably good quality local limestone worked over by a stonemason at the time, since this is the building material that was used for most of the buildings contemporary with the Stone Homestead in the Hakataramea Downs district The Hakataramea Station Woolshed (registered Category I), for example, is constructed in exactly the same way as the homestead of coursed rubble limestone blocks.

In addition to these design details the Stone Homestead displays two most interesting concessions to contemporary fashion in the form of a Trompe l'oiel window and a false chimney placed over the gable end, which shows that McGregor had some sensitivity in regard to aesthetic matters and as to what looked right in terms of a balanced design.

(m) Such additional criteria not inconsistent with those in paragraphs (a) to (k):

There are 200 registered cottages/houses built between 1840 and 1875, the latter date being around about the last time colonial box cottages appeared in New Zealand before being superseded by the early New Zealand Villa style.

The simple Box Cottage style is well represented in the South Island by timber built examples such as William's Cottage in Queenstown, 1866-67, Cat I, or cob built buildings such as Tiptree Cottage, Christchurch, Cat.I. Stone built examples of the style are not common outside of the South island, but they do form a type of vernacular building in South Canterbury. In this latter region a random sample search revealed seven registered domestic and farm buildings built contemporary with the Stone Homestead at Hakataramea in the same style and materials, and two churches built between 1928 and 1935 of random rubble construction (St David's, Cave, 1928-30, Cat.I, and Church of the Good Shepherd, 1935, Cat.I). The latter buildings demonstrate the continuity of a local building tradition of which the Stone Homestead is an early example.

Geoffrey Thornton also describes the Stone Homestead as a 'Spartan' example of early New Zealand homestead architecture and in this respect he contrasts it with the mansion at the other end of the scale built by Robert Campbell at Otekaieke (Cat.I).

One might qualify this judgement by saying that Spartan though the design of Stone Homestead may be, the epithet refers to Dalzell's earlier 1860s portion of the house. The McGregor portion of 1878, as noted above, made concessions to fashion and aesthetics by including quoin blocks on the extension, dressed stone window architraves with keystone heads, a Trompe l'oiel window and a false chimney to balance the design.

From this point of view the local method of construction and the development of the plan and design of the place over the years are of more significance than the simple Spartan style which was standard throughout New Zealand during the period concerned.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1862 -

Completion Date

1st March 1998

Report Written By

Wayne Nelson

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.