Elderslie Estate Men's Quarters (Former)

78 Pine Hill Road, Elderslie Estate, Elderslie

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3251 Date Entered 7th April 1983 Date of Effect 7th April 1983


Extent of List Entry

The extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 381279 (RT 325641), Otago Land District, and the building known as Elderslie Estate Men's Quarters (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Waitaki District


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 381279 (RT 325641), Otago Land District


These men’s quarters were built for gentleman farmer John Reid at Elderslie Estate in the Waiareka Valley in North Otago. They are architecturally and historically significant for their association with John Reid and his grand and picturesque Elderslie Estate. They are one of a number of buildings associated with the former estate.

Scottish-born Reid came to New Zealand in 1863. For ten years he was in business in Dunedin before retiring to Elderslie. The estate was large – over 17,000 acres. Reid and his family lived one of the three homesteads. Reid was a pioneering stock breeder and involved in the new frozen meat trade. Reid had the S.S. Elderslie built in 1883 for the London market.

Elderslie, like its neighbour Windsor Park, was one of the ‘great properties’ of the Waitaki region. Reid built the first part of his grand house in 1868. He made additions in 1874. He developed a large park – with exotic trees and artificial lakes – around the house. The house’s setting was described as ‘unsurpassed in New Zealand’. Reid built a group of buildings to support the working of the estate: a two-storey Oamaru stone woolshed and yards, men’s quarters, and stables (a Category 2 historic place, Register No. 2420).

Elderslie Estate was subdivided in 1900 in accordance with government policy to break up the big estates. Eleven thousand acres of land at Elderslie were opened up for settlement.

New men’s quarters were built in 1908. Plans show that they had ten bedrooms upstairs, and a bedroom, office and sitting room downstairs. The building had concrete piles, rimu framing and cladding. The plans show the building to be 44ft by 21 ft (13.5 by 6.4m). The ablutions were in a separate building, as was the cookshop. The cookshop was demolished in 2000.

John Reid died in 1912. Reid’s obituary recalled how important the Elderslie was to North Otago and Reid’s role in business. His wife Elizabeth died in 1924.

In 1932 Ken Austin moved from Australia to take over the management of the Elderslie racing stud for the Reid family, who stood Phar Lap’s sire Night Raid. Austin was a key figure in New Zealand’s thoroughbred breeding industry. He co-founded the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He had visited regularly as an auctioneer at the Trentham Yearling Sales and helped set up the first New Zealand national yearling sales. Austin founded the Inglewood Stud property in North Canterbury in 1938.

Elderslie was sold to James Rutherford in 1940. The grand homestead became a furnished guest house and later a cabaret. Elderslie Homestead was destroyed by fire on 14 November 1957, leaving the coach house, stables and men’s quarters to recall Reid’s expansive estate. The stone gates were donated to Centennial Park in Oamaru and the Gazebo is to be found in the Oamaru Public Gardens (Category 2 historic place, Register No. 7150).

The men’s quarters have been altered. An internal staircase, bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms were added, probably in the 1980s.

In 2013 Elderslie is a private residence and also welcomes visitors for functions and for historic home tours.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1908 -

Demolished - additional building on site
2000 -
Associated cookshop demolished (separate building)

Completion Date

29th August 2013

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1905

Cyclopedia Company, Industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations, Wellington, N.Z, 1897-1908, Vol. 4 Otago and Southland, Cyclopedia Company, Christchurch, 1905

McDonald, 1962

K C McDonald, 'White Stone Country', Oamaru, 1962

Otago Daily Times

Otago Daily Times

1 Sep 1877, p.2; 7 April 1979

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Office of the NZHPT

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.