Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse

Seddon Street, Martha Hill, WAIHI

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This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration. The pumphouse was built in 1904 by the Waihi Gold Mining Company to house the huge 'Cornish Pump' designed to dewater the mine workings. The imposing concrete structure is now a spectacular ruin stripped of its machinery. The huge Hotham Davey pumping engine it once housed was capable of raising mine water from a depth of 472 metres at the rate of 409140 litres per hour. The Martha Mine began in 1890 and closed in 1952, during which time it produced 35,500,000 ounces of gold then worth £28,500,000. With underground horizontal workings totalling more than 160 kilometres it was the largest and most profitable goldmine in New Zealand. Robert Lee and John McCombie began the mine but subsequently abandoned it. Later William Nicholl discovered their workings, sank a shaft and named the claim 'Martha'. The pumphouse stands as a striking visual reminder of the great engineering feats of the later period of gold mining. While it has architectural merit it is of undoubted historical importance as one of the country's principal industrial monuments.

Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse, Waihi. Image courtesy of | PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite | 23/03/2017 | Phil Braithwaite
Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse. Image courtesy of - | geoff-inOz | 04/11/2009 | geoff-inOz
Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse, Waihi. Image courtesy of | Chris | 09/04/2015 | Chris Beaton
Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse, Waihi. c.1905 Ref: 1/1-000715-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22745054 | Unknown | Alexander Turnbull Library



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 1


Able to Visit

List Number


Date Entered

11th November 1983

Date of Effect

11th November 1983

City/District Council

Hauraki District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Pt Secs 225 Special Sites No.8, 9 28 29 Pt 7 17- Martha Hill

Location Description

Relocated 23 metres along Seddon Street 14 November 2006.

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