Upper Hutt Blockhouse

The Upper Hutt Blockhouse located in the rohe of Te Ātiawa Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika, was built in 1860 in the shadow of conflict between government forces and Māori in Taranaki.

Upper Hutt Blockhouse

Hutt Valley settlers held a series of meetings, and decided to build two blockhouses – one in Upper Hutt and one in Lower Hutt (which no longer remains).

The two-storeyed Blockhouse was erected in the centre of the existing Upper Hutt settlement, and had associated earthworks and a stockade. Although the earthworks and stockade are no longer visible, the building’s features such as local tōtara weatherboards, gravel-filled walls and balistraria, or loop holes, through which guns could be fired, are still present.

The Blockhouse was occupied by a small militia from late 1860 until May 1861, but saw no action. From 1867, the building was used as the local police house, courthouse and residence.

The Blockhouse is one of the few remaining structures built by Pākehā settlers in the Wellington area. This is partly due to passionate locals recognising the importance of the building in 1916 and lobbying for the legal protection of the Blockhouse under the Scenery Preservation Act 1908. Over the years it has also been used by community groups including boy scouts, girl guides and the Upper Hutt Round Table.

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Protecting layers of history - a New Zealand Wars story.
  • Interpretation room at the blockhouse

    Learn more about the Blockhouse and its original purpose. Image: Grant Sheehan/Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

  • Balistraria

    Peer through the balistraria or loopholes through which guns could be fired. Image: Grant Sheehan/Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

  • Gravel fill in the walls of the blockhouse

    The tōtara weatherboard walls are filled with gravel for added protection from gunfire, Image: Grant Sheehan/Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

  • Upper floor at the blockhouse

    Community groups such as the Upper Hutt Round Table have used the Blockhouse.  Image: Grant Sheehan/Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga