Broxt Cottage

185 West Street, FEILDING


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Situated on the lower levels of 'Halcombe Hill' on the northern outskirts of Feilding, Broxt Cottage is the former residence of Douglas Hastings Macarthur, Feilding's first mayor. The township of Feilding was established on the Manchester Block in the Manawatu in 1874. In 1875 Frederick Gillett, the surveyor employed to complete a plan of the township, acquired land there. Prior to the sale of the land, it appears that a building was constructed on what became Suburban Section 178. Renovations to the building in the 1970s uncovered part of a newspaper clipping, dated 22 May 1874, pasted to one of the walls. No evidence has been found confirming that Gillett constructed the cottage, or lived there. The land was transferred to Douglas Hastings Macarthur on 10 October 1883. Between 1881 and 1882, Macarthur had served as Feilding's first mayor. A year after he took up residence in the cottage he was appointed to the House of Representatives, a position he held until his death in 1892. Although part of the land was sold after Macarthur's death his wife, Mary Macarthur, remained in the cottage. In 1898 she married Hugh Lind Sherwill. Prior to the marriage, Sherwill had also served as mayor of Feilding. In 1901, one of Mary Macarthur's three daughters married and the wedding was held at the cottage. This photo is the earliest evidence of the construction of an L-shaped extension added to the building, although the weatherboards suggest that it may have been constructed in the early 1880s before rusticated weatherboards were widely adopted. Mary and Hugh Sherwill remained living at Broxt until Hugh Sherwill's death in 1902. Mary left Broxt in 1916 but retained ownership of the property until 1920. It was then sold to Alfred Hannett , who transferred it to his daughter-in-law, Ellen (Nelly). Ellen Hannett and her family remained in the house until 1958 when it was transferred to Percy and Gladys Bambry. The Bambrys installed a new kitchen, a concrete terrace and exterior doors in the eastern elevation. The house was sold to Denis and Dorothy Pilkington in 1978. The cottage floor was then removed and replaced with a concrete slab and a staircase to the upper floor was added for the first time. A new dormer window was added and other windows were replaced. Through their research on the house, the Pilkingtons discovered that the house had formerly been known as 'Broxt'. The Pilkingtons sold the house to its present owners, Christopher and Robyn Symonds, in 1982. The Symonds converted the space associated with the gable-end window above the bay window left of the front entrance into an extra room. The house continues to be used as a residence. The cottage now consists of a single storey cottage and a two-storey 'L-shaped' extension to the rear (east). The cottage, in which the 1874 newspaper clipping was discovered, has been modified and added to in recent years. Original features include the architraves, which consist of plain boards. The ‘L' shaped extension to the east depicted in the 1901 wedding photograph consists of a gabled portion that runs parallel to the original cottage, and a gabled bay and room that juts out from the verandah on the east elevation. The internal layout of the extension has been slightly modified and a number of the original features replaced. The matai floor and the decorative architraves and skirting boards remain in tact.

Broxt Cottage | Val Burr | Heritage New Zealand
Broxt Cottage | A Dangerfield | 18/09/2013 | Heritage New Zealand



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 2


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

9th September 2006

Date of Effect

9th September 2006

City/District Council

Manawatū District


Horizons (Manawatū-Whanganui) Region

Extent of List Entry

Registration includes the land comprised in RT WN16C/221 and the building and its fittings and fixtures thereon.

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 45623 (RT WN16C/221), Wellington Land District

Location Description

Located near the corner of West Street and Halcombe Road, Feilding.

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