Fountaine Square Historic Area

Ross St, Bowen St, Ormond St, Pollen St, Woodville

  • Fountaine Square Historic Area.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.
  • Fountaine Square Historic Area. Plan of Historic Area from registration report.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Date: 6/04/2001.
  • Fountaine Square Historic Area. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 12/12/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Area Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 7489 Date Entered 6th April 2001

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Extent of List Entry

In 1896, Thomas Francis Fountaine, a pioneer of Woodville, gifted 2 acres of land to the people of Woodville. Under a Deed of Gift, it was designated as a pleasure ground and public garden for the residents of the Borough of Woodville and surrounding District but also an area of rest and relaxation for visitors. The Deed of Gift specified that no building except a Band Rotunda and Arbors or Summer Houses, was to be erected upon any part of "The Square".

Rotunda

English Oaks

Plane Trees

World Wars Monument

Totara Trees

Memorial Drinking Font

Park Benches

Kauri Tree

VJ Memorial

Playground

City/District Council

Tararua District

Region

Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Suburban Sections 1 & 2 Woodville

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Historical Significance or Value

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

Historical Significance:

Fountaine Square, its monuments, memorials, structures and trees has considerable historical importance, as it provides knowledge of the Woodville's district history and of national events. It is associated with a number of important local occasions - the opening of Ballance Bridge by the then Premier, Richard John Seddon, with the planting of an English Oak in 1904 by the Premier; the planting of a Plane Tree by HRH, the Prince of Wales in 1922 during his visit to our country, and another Plane tree by Lord Jellicoe, Governor General of New Zealand in 1922. Other trees have been planted over the years since the 1920s by Governor Generals. In 1932, the Woodville Primary School planted a Totara Tree to commemorate Arbor Day.

Thomas Francis Fountaine, who gifted the land for the Square to the people of Woodville, was born in Buckinghamshire, England 1842, and died at Kumeroa, Woodville in 1934. He worked for the Hon J.D. Ormond at Wallingford and later commenced road working at Norsewood. He gained a contract to build a road from Woodville to

Nga-awa -purua, now Ormond Road. In 1876, with J.R. Monteith, he

opened Woodville's first store. Fountaine was Chairman of the Woodville Roads Board and represented the district on the Waipawa County Council. He built the homestead "Otawharo", which is registered with the Trust (Category II).

Other prominent persons and organisations associated with Fountaine Square have been members of the Fountaine family; Mr Ralph Mountfort, former Mayor of Woodville; the Woodville Returned Services Association; the Bank of New Zealand, Woodville; the former Chapter of Woodville Jaycees and the Woodville Primary School.

The plaques set into the structures and lawns on Fountaine Square give the dates and information on the people and events that have been associated with and memorialised in the Square for over 100 years, This gives the Square some uniqueness.

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

Physical Significance:

The Band Rotunda, is typical of most band rotunda structures around the country. It was built from local totara and matai. A wrought iron lace runs around the octagonal roof. The wrought iron finial has an ornamental bulb and the filigree has been broken and stolen and is no more on the rotunda. The finial, is fortunately beyond the reach of vandals and is of simple construction. The maintenance and protection of the timber construction and roof area is an on-going issue for the local community. The War memorial is of marble construction with gold lettering. It commemorates all wars fought by New Zealanders.

The Drinking Font, was donated by Woodville Jaycees and is a memorial to Peter Kensington, a former member of the Jaycee Chapter. The plaques are all made from anodised brass. Those that have been set in the lawn areas have been damaged by the large mowers used in the Square. The timber park benches have suffered with age and are

due for replacing. The English Oaks, the Plane Trees and the Totara's all have great visual presence in the Square.

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

Cultural Significance:

Fountaine Square has provided considerable cultural and social value to the community of Woodville. It has hosted visits from many distinguished figures including HRH the Prince of Wales in 1922, Governor-Generals and New Zealand Premiers in the early part

of the 20th Century. It has been a place of many commemorative events - farewells and homecomings associated with both World Wars, Anzac Day services and the venue for many concerts in Woodville.

Various community groups in Woodville have been closely involved in the development and preservation of Fountaine Square, in particular, the RSA, the former Jaycee Chapter, Rotary and Lions, Playgroups, the Museum, the local Primary school and Woodville Community Board. All have played their part in maintaining the Square as a social and cultural asset for the District.

It serves as a regular picnic/leisure area for local residents and visitors to Woodville, and, provides great enhancement for the district because of its attractive setting and historical connections.

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Physical Description

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

Description:

In 1896, Thomas Francis Fountaine, a pioneer of Woodville, gifted 2 acres of land to the

people of Woodville. Under a Deed of Gift, it was designated as a pleasure ground and

public garden for the residents of the Borough of Woodville and surrounding District but

also an area of rest and relaxation for visitors. The Deed of Gift specified that no building, except a Band Rotunda and Arbors or Summer Houses, was to be erected upon any part of "The Square".

The following items are contained in Fountaine Square:

(1) Rotunda -1897

(2) English Oak - 1904 - planted by Richard J. Seddon, New Zealand Premier, 1893-

1906, for the opening of Ballance Bridge.

(3) Plane Tree - 1920 - planted by HRH the Prince of Wales, during his visit to New

Zealand.

(4) Plane Tree - 1922 - planted by Governor General Lord Jellicoe.

(5) World Wars Monument -1923.

(6) Totara Tree - 1932 - planted by Woodville School, on Arbor Day.

(7) English Oak - 1935 - planted by Lady Bledisloe, wife of the Governor-General, prior

to their departure from New Zealand.

(8) Totara Tree -1941- planted by Lady Newall, wife of the Governor-General, during

their war-time visit to the area.

(9) Memorial Drinking Font - 1965 - Woodville Jaycees.

(10)Park Bench - 1986 Bank of New Zealand (Plaque)

(11) Park Bench -1986 Fountaine Families (Plaque)

(12) Totara Tree - 1987 Mayor R J Mountfort (Plaque)

(13) Kauri Tree - 1993 (RSA Plaque)

(14) VJ Memorial- 1995 (RSA Plaque)

(15) Playground - 1986 Playground Group Fundraisers.

(16) Interpretive Sign to be erected.

Construction Dates

Other Information

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

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

Thomas Francis Fountaine:

Born in Buchinghamshire, England in 1842. Died in Kumeroa 1934. In 1861 he sailed for Melbourne where he spent 10 years working on farms. In 1871 he came to New Zealand, working for the Hon. J D Ormond at Wallingford. While there he heard of Woodville, he commenced road working at Norsewood and later with J H Monteith, had the contract to build the road from Woodville to Nga-awa-purua now Ormond Road. In 1876 With J.H Monteith they opened Woodville's first store. He

returned to England for a brief visit in 1884 then returned to take up land on the Otawhao block - now Kumeroa where his family still farm.

He was a Pioneer of Woodville and District, an early J.P., Chairman of the Woodville Roads Board and represented Woodville on the Waipawa County Council.

He built the homestead "Ota Whao" where he supervised the building and the material used. Originally to have been two storey, an earthquake caused a change of plan. The billiard room and an octagonal library are unique architectural features and T .F's use of timber is seen in the Kauri chairs and tables. It is registered with NZ Historic Places Trust.

In 1896 he gifted 2 acres to the People of Woodville to be known as Fountaine Square. The Deed of Gift has 10 criteria for the "The Square".

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.

Historic Area Place Name

English Oak
Kauri Tree
Memorial Drinking Font
Park Bench
Plane Tree
Playground
Rotunda
Totara Tree
VJ Memorial
World Wars Monument