The genesis of Longwood lies in the sale of Ngati Kahungunu lands in southern Wairarapa in 1853. In September the Crown purchased the 40,000-acre Tauherenikau Block for £2,000. Signatories to the sale deed were the Crown agent Donald McLean and the Ngati Kahungunu leaders Ngairo Takataka-putea, Raniera Te Iho and Wiremu Kingi Tu-te-pakihi-rangi. Shortly after, in December, Te Manihera Te Rangi-taka-i-waho and nine others sold the Owhanga Block, on which Featherston was built.
The Featherston settlement was sponsored by the Wellington Provisional Government and named after its first Superintendent, Dr Isaac Featherston. A survey of the town was completed in 1856 and, as was usual in colonial town founding, land was divided between town and suburban sections, the later intended for small farms to provide an economic hinterland for Featherston. However, the government set the price too high and sales were sluggish. Some town lots were taken up, but the suburban sections were beyond the reach of ordinary folk and most of this land ended up in the hands of established landowners.
Among these was Henry Bunny. Born in 1823, Bunny was an English solicitor who arrived in Wellington with his wife, Catherine, and young family in 1853. He established a law practice and soon accrued property in Wellington and Wairarapa. Ownership of land not only offered financial rewards - through subdivision and sale - it also generated social dividends. As historian Roberta McIntyre notes:
the purchase of country lands was a means of elevating one's status in New Zealand. Wealthy landowners became the colony's nearest equivalent to Britain's landed gentry and aristocracy; their hegemony extended beyond the boundaries of the city into surrounding country districts.
This was true of the families of what became known as Longwood, all of who formed part of Wellington's close-knit landed elite, with substantial city and country investments. Their country houses were modelled on their English equivalent, venues to imitate the behaviour and customs of the British gentry and showcase their growing wealth, power, and social status.
Another way the elite strengthened their power was through the political system. For instance, Bunny served on the Wellington Provincial Council and was elected Wairarapa's first Member of the House of Representatives in 1865, becoming a government whip and clever parliamentary tactician. He held his seat until 1881, when Walter Buchanan ousted him. He tried to regain the seat in succeeding elections, but failed, becoming active in local politics instead. Obviously depressed, he ended his life in 1891, committing suicide in the Featherston Band Rotunda. His second wife Elizabeth and ten children survived him. His name is remembered in Bunny Street, Wellington.
Bunny called his Featherston property Longwood, after Napolean's residence in exile on St Helena. His brother General Arthur Bunny had visited Longwood when his ship had called at the island to take on water. While there he took a slip of the famous willow trees from the garden and sent them to New Zealand. These were planted in the garden at Henry's Longwood, where they still stand. While most of the land was given over to livestock farming, Bunny laid out about eight acres of Longwood in formal gardens. Many of the existing trees date from this time - including limes, oaks, and a substantial shelterbelt. He also kept notable native trees, such as two totara, thought to be 700 years old.
As with many other pastoralist houses of the 1850s, Longwood Homestead was initially a modest structure: a wooden colonial cottage with a west-facing verandah, glazed in at the northern end. It featured plain weatherboards, double-hung windows and a wooden shingled roof, punctured by dormer windows. Soon after this was completed (circa 1857), Bunny erected a gabled addition perpendicular to the cottage at the southern end, also of wood. It was during this time that many of Longwood's outbuildings, which still survive, were erected.
For unknown reasons Bunny sold Longwood to Charles Johnson Pharazyn (1802- 1903) in 1871. Born in 1802 Charles Johnson Pharazyn and his family had come to Wellington in 1841. Six years later, after a stint storekeeping, he leased Maori land at Whatarangi in Palliser Bay and established a substantial sheep run. He also became a partner in the large mercantile firm Levin and Co, from where he retired to Longwood in 1871. Two years before he had followed Bunny into Parliament, serving as a Member of the Legislative Council until 1885. During his long life he married twice and his children included Charles and Robert, both members of the Wellington Provincial Council. Charles Johnson Pharazyn and his son Charles Pharazyn (1831-1903) died in 1903.
Following his purchase of Longwood, Charles Johnson Pharazyn erected a substantial villa-style addition at the west end of the existing dwelling. The new structure reorientated the entrance of house to the west and featured large double-hung, bay windows and a broad first-floor balcony/ground floor verandah. The northwestern section of the verandah was glazed - possibly for a conservatory - and connected the old dwelling to the new. An interesting aspect of Longwood (and many similar large houses of the period) was the retention of the original dwelling, which often looked incongruous placed beside much more substantial 'additions'. This was probably done so the original house could be used to accommodate servants. Another reason is symbolic. In an age that championed progress, each addition could be viewed as the latest chapter in a story relating the owner's rising material wealth and social status: from utilitarian cottage to grand house. With this pile of progress before them, observers could only be impressed.
However, in 1905 it all caught fire and was destroyed. Not surprisingly the Pharazyn family decided to rebuild in more fire-resistant brick, to a Scottish baronial-influenced design by Wellington architect John Swan. However, the house was barely completed before the Pharazyn family moved to Sydney, leasing Longwood to the Governor General and his wife, Lord and Lady Plunket. In 1911 Charles Buckland Pharazyn (Charles Johnson Pharazyn's grandson) sold Longwood to Dan (Daniel) Henry Strother Riddiford and his wife Jessie Meta (nee Johnston). To some extent they were bringing Longwood back into the family; Henry Bunny had been Dan's maternal grandfather. In moving in Dan, Meta and their offspring began an association with Longwood that was to span some 80 years.
Dan was the grandson of Daniel Riddiford (1814-1875), who landed in Wellington with his wife Harriet Stone in 1840. Daniel initially worked for the New Zealand Company as an emigration agent, erecting a house at Pipitea Point, where his son Edward (Dan's father) (1841-1911) was born in 1842. In 1848 Daniel acquired a 7,000-acre pastoral lease from Maori at Orongorongo in southern Wairarapa. Shortly after, he leased Te Awaiti, a 30,000-acre block on the Wairarapa's east coast. These properties became the source for the Riddiford's substantial fortune.
Edward was educated in Christ's College, Christchurch and Scotch College, Melbourne, after which he spent six months driving cattle from Queensland to Victoria. In 1861 he re-crossed the Tasman Sea to the Otago goldfields. The following year his parents persuaded him to become manager of Te Awaite. His success led to him taking over Orongorongo as well, where he established a lucrative Romney stud flock. (He later inherited both runs.) Edward had a strong relationship with Wairarapa Maori. He spoke their language, employed them, and traded with them. His powerful personality and physical prowess led local Maori to nickname him 'King', permitting him to lease and buy their land on favourable terms. In 1878 he married Eleanor Bunny - she was aged 17 and he was 36. The couple purchased Fern Grove in Lower Hutt as their main residence and had four sons and three daughters. By the 1880s King was very wealthy, with extensive landholdings in the Wairarapa, Manawatu, and Wellington. Unlike Bunny and Charles Johnson Pharazyn he did not enter national politics, although he did serve on the Wairarapa South County Council and other organisations. He died in 1911 at his Longburn property, reportably in the arms of his longstanding Maori mistress Mere Skipworth. That same year his son Dan bought Longwood.
Dan (Daniel) and Meta Riddiford
Dan (Daniel) was born in 1883 and was educated at Wanganui Collegiate. In 1910 he married Jessie Meta Johnston, born in 1883. They lived at Tablelands (one of King's pastoral estates) near Martinborough before moving to Longwood. Like previous owners, the Riddifords did not buy Longwood to generate wealth - at 100 acres it was too small - but to display it. As Dan and Meta's granddaughter Charlotte Williams explains, the couple placed managers in their other (wealth-creating) estates and used Longwood as a 'home farm', running a few sheep and cattle. Dan acted like a general manager and kept a close eye on all his business operations. Located close to Featherston and within easy reach of Wellington, Longwood became the nexus of their business, family and social life. Meta was not impressed by her new home, telling her mother: 'it is not a house that improves upon acquaintance. 'I really think Swan the architect must be a fool and a knave.' What was needed was a complete makeover. In 1913 the Riddifords engaged the services of the renowned Wellington architect (William) Gray Young to modify and extend what Meta called 'the horrible brick villa'.
Gray Young was born in Oamaru in 1885. His family moved to Wellington in the 1890s and established a jewellery business. Following his education at Wellington College, Gray Young was articled to the architects Crichton and McKay. In 1907 he established his own practice, initially focusing on domestic work. He was greatly influenced by Charles Voysey and Edwin Lutyens; English architects who gained prominence at the turn of the twentieth century designing country houses in an English vernacular or Arts and Crafts idiom. As with Lutyens, Gray Young later worked in the neo-Georgian revival style. An early example of this genre is 43 Kent Terrace, Wellington, a two-storey brick residence, and now offices of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
In the Longwood addition Gray Young employed both genres. The exterior bears the hallmarks of Luyten's English vernacular style, with high gables, ceramic tiled roofs, bands of casement windows, and tall decorative chimneys. In contrast, the interior is highly decorated in the neo-Georgian style, featuring ornate plasterwork, pillars and cornice lines. This makes for an aesthetically surprising transition between the exterior and interior. While the addition was designed in early 1914, the start of World War One prevented its construction. In 1915 Dan became a Second Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards and the family moved to England, taking up rooms in Lyme Regis; the Pharazyns moving in next door. During their absence Longwood was leased to the army - which had established a military camp close by - and used as officer accommodation.
On their return at the end of the War, the addition was completed. Unlike the Pharazyns the Riddifords did not want to showcase the old and the new. As already noted, Meta considered the house undistinguished and instructed Gray Young to disguise it. He obliged by covering the brick in stucco, reworking the fenestration and gable treatments, and modifying the chimneys. On the western side, the verandah was demolished and a new red tiled porch and porte cochere erected. The western (front) side underwent the most radical change. The western gable was widened and the bay window extended to the second floor. A new gable was built at the northern end, giving an elegant symmetry to the elevation. Between these a wide tiled loggia/first floor balcony was built, providing an outdoor room to the garden. At the eastern end a two-storey, hipped-roofed addition was erected. This gave space for a new dining room and further bedrooms upstairs. Finally, the southern (back) side was extended, with a new kitchen and further accommodation for storage and servants. The home was increased to its present size of 1297 square metres (14,000 square feet), with 40 rooms, including 16 bedrooms. The renovations were completed in 1921.
At the same time, the Riddifords constructed new stables and a motor garage for five cars behind the house and redesigned the garden. The centrepiece of this was a sunken garden to the east of the house, a scaled down version of the English Hampton Court Garden. The excavations were carried out with pick and shovel. Statues depicting the four seasons were imported and placed at the entrance: spring carried a lamb; summer a garland; autumn a bunch of grapes, and winter a lantern. Next to the sunken garden a glasshouse was constructed to grow table grapes, lettuces, and flowers for the house; a boiler fed by wood chips from a nearby timber mill heated it in winter. Also excavated by hand was a lily pond at the nor-western boundary of the garden, fed by a specially constructed water race. An extensive rose garden was planted and three vegetable gardens put down. The grounds also featured a double grass tennis court, croquet lawn and polo field.
With the completion of the additions and grounds Longwood was transformed into a showpiece country house, a fitting venue to display the Riddiford's wealth and high social status. Part of this display required the couple to be generous hosts. During the 1920s and 30s Dan and Meta hosted many garden parties and charity events. They also received a constant stream of visitors, from the Duke of Gloucester to Lord Baden-Powell. These were Longwood's halcyon days. At this time the Riddifords had five children - John, Anthony, Daniel, Rosamund and Philippa - and employed 13 staff: four gardeners, a groom, a cowman/handyman, a butler, a cook, a housemaid, a scullery maid, a laundress, a personal maid, and a governess.
As with other landed families, the Riddifords operated in accordance with the concept of noblesse oblige. This assumed the employer would provide protection and security to the employee in return for loyalty and stability. Many of the staff at Longwood stayed for years, some intermarrying. The butler Jim Boyd married the cook, and the cowman and odd-job man Jock McCullum married the Scottish housemaid Christina Clelland. The butler Jim Boyd was already married to the cook, Elsie, when they arrived from Australia. They lived in the main house. The Clellands lived in a cottage on the estate. They were given a cottage to live in on the estate. Thurston, the head gardener, also lived in a cottage. He stayed until he was too old to work.
The size of the domestic workforce at Longwood was unusual by this time. The heyday of the New Zealand country house was in the late nineteenth century, when pastoralists were at the peak of their influence. Historians have shown how their power weakened in the face of democratising forces from Liberalism in the 1890s. Pastoralists found they had to share and then relinquish power to emerging middle and even working class politicians. Things were also changing in their homes. Working people were spurning domestic toil in favour of clerical and factory jobs, forcing the elite to cut their number of servants and do things themselves. According to Nicholls, by 1914 Wellington's propertied elite had been 'pushed aside by a rising middle class.' In the country, the early landed families also lost economic and political influence but 'retained their social dominance'.
This was true of the Riddifords. The couple remained near the apex of Wairarapa (and Wellington) society. Dan concentrated on his farming and business interests, whereas Meta focused on charity work. She supported many local projects and institutions, particularly Featherston's St Teresa's Catholic Church and the town's kindergarten. After World War Two she became a member of the Polish Children's Board of Guardians, helping settle Polish orphans at Pahiatua Camp. She was also Dominion vice-president of the Girl Guide Movement. Meta had a fierce reputation. 'Most people I think were afraid of her', suggests her son Anthony, 'as she had a sharp tongue and did not mind cutting people down to size.' Some recall her as aloof but Charlotte Williams remembers both Dan and Meta as 'welcoming and warm'. She recalls Longwood as a large family home and a centre of family events, which often encompassed wider family and friends.
By the 1950s Dan and Meta had reduced the size of the household and the number of events hosted at Longwood. Charlotte recalls by this time there was: Mr Crom (a gardener), the McCullums, a driver, and the Boyds. Meta died in 1963 and Dan eight years later. Longwood then passed to their eldest son John. He did not want it so under the terms of the will it was offered to the second son Tony at government valuation. In 1972 he, his wife Joan, and their seven children made Longwood their home.
By the late 1980s the property had become a burden for Tony and Joan. Their children had left and the couple were living in the kitchen, library and bedrooms. The staff now comprised just a gardener and part-time cleaner. Reluctantly, they recognised the property was unsuited to modern ways of living and too expensive to maintain. With no one in their family wanting to take it on, they decided to sell Longwood. In May 1989 it was sold at auction to the developer Roland Wallace Lamb for $500,000.
Lamb bought Longwood as a family home, but he became embroiled in the Renshaw Edwards case where an Upper Hutt firm of solicitors embezzled clients' funds and lost large amounts of money. He was forced to put Longwood up for sale in 1992.
The Emms and Tait-Jamieson Family
This time Garrick Emms and his wife Marguerite Tait-Jamieson bought it. They had become interested in the property after the sale of their farm Tuhitarata (also in southern Wairarapa). Their agent convinced them to take a look at Longwood, where they 'fell in love with the outbuildings.' Although these were in a sorry state of disrepair this did not faze them. They moved into the house with their young daughters Georgia, Francesca and Samantha, in January 1993. Initially, there was no hot water and few of the toilets worked. The house was cold; the roof leaked in several places. Cooking had to be done on the Aga. Garrick and Marguerite realised they had a massive task ahead of them to bring Longwood up to scratch.
Marguerite was born in Palmerston North in 1951 and lived on a farm at Whakaronga on the Manawatu River, her mother teaching at the local school. In 1960 her family moved to another farm near Te Aroha. She was educated at Baradene (Auckland) and Te Aroha Colleges. In 1969 she went to Massey University, where she met Garrick. He had been born in Christchurch in 1947. His father was an electrical engineer who moved a lot for his job; Garrick attended four secondary schools before arriving at Massey. He and Marguerite finished their degrees at Victoria University, he in Political Science, she in Music. They married in 1973. Garrick became a partner in Byers and Associates, a marketing, print broking and publishing firm. He is now the marketing manager for the New Zealand Lodge Association. As well as co-running Longwood, Marguerite is a music specialist, teaching voice and directing choirs.
After 18 months, Garrick and Marguerite realised they would never be able to restore Longwood without another income stream. They decided to turn the property into a Lodge for international and domestic guests. This has enabled them to restore much of the homestead and outbuildings. Some of these have been converted into guest accommodation. Several of the bedrooms in the house are also used by guests and are equipped with ensuites from space formerly used as wardrobes or dressing rooms. A new central heating system and commercial kitchen has been installed and scores of roof tiles have been rewired back into place. The former drawing, sitting and dining rooms have all been sensitively restored. The couple also constructed an outdoor lap pool and a pool house, the design of which copies the pillars and arches of the loggia.
Garrick and Marguerite would like Longwood to remain their family home but they recognise 'it will be beyond our children to carry it on'. They hope that someone with greater resources than they have will 'fall in love with it and continue our work and take it to the next level.'
The homestead is an amalgam of the 1905 house designed by John Swan and Gray Young's 1921 additions. Swan's drawings are lost so the extent to which Gray Young demolished the original house is unknown; Gray Young disguised that left behind with stucco and new architectural treatments. The main clue distinguishing the old house from the new is the fenestration. The original dwelling has wooden, double-hung windows, with 6 panes in the top sash; the new addition has bands of metal casement windows, each comprising 15 panes.
The existing floor plan remains largely unchanged since 1921, the era when Dan and Meta Riddiford were employing a large domestic staff and hosting many society events and guests. From a social history perspective this is (presently) Longwood's most important period. The arrangements of the house follow a typology identified by Terence Hodgson in his study of the large colonial house. Basically, reception areas were placed at the front of the house, with more prosaic purposes at the back. Downstairs was for living and upstairs for sleeping.
Impressive carriage porches and vestibules signaled the main entrance of the large house, states Hodgson. In Longwood this is on the western side and leads into entrance hall. The hall, continues Hodgson, accommodated the main staircase and was the major decorative feature of the large house. Longwood's hall was part of the original house and is lined with dark, wooden paneled walls. The staircase ascends around three walls to the second floor, with one wall displaying several mounted deer heads. Opposite is the library. Traditionally, a 'place of retreat and quiet', it features floor to ceiling bookcases, cabinets, and a large fireplace. On the fire surround is a bass relief of a knight taking their vows, dedicating themselves to serve God and King. The room was also Dan's office. His desk was in the bay window.
While the hall is certainly impressive, it is not as highly decorated as Gray Young's extensions. To the left of the entrance is the elegant Adam drawing room, named for its relationship to a style set by Robert and James Adam. Robert and James Adam published a folio "Works in Architecture" in 1773-8 which became a classic for room design and the room has a number of these Adam style features in the plaster work. Entering it, one could almost be in a different house. The vibrant colours of the neo-Georgian plasterwork and detailing replace the dim and sober tone of the hall and library. Hodgson suggests the drawing room reflected the taste of the Lady of the House, a place where fine porcelain and objets d' art were displayed. Charlotte Williams recalls that until the 1970s the room had a 'large piano, sedan chair, painted cabinet, and shelves with pretty things'. It also featured a large portrait of the first Daniel Riddiford by William Beetham. The room, says Charlotte, was used for entertaining. Here the family and guests met for drinks after the races and was used for Christmas night family dinner, followed by charades. The room is now mainly used for as a music room and for weddings and conferences.
Beside this was the sitting hall. This was a family room and Charlotte remembers it had a 'big fire and a big table', where they had afternoon teas and played with toys. A portrait of Harriot Riddiford, also by Beetham, hung in the room. According to Marguerite Tait-Jamieson, servants (bar the butler and parlour maid) were not allowed in this room or the next-door dining room, a point supported by a small (servant) hallway behind the rooms. The dining room was dominated by the dining table. During the interwar period everyone had to dress for dinner. Not all liked the formality. Richard Riddiford, Dan and Meta's grandson, remembered when 'we went there we always had to wear a tie and things, which we didn't like very much.'
Behind the suite of reception rooms was the servants' wing. Hodgson states the rooms for domestic staff could take up to 40 per cent of a large house. At Longwood about a third of space was used for this purpose. From the dining room, the first room in this wing is the flower room (a place to arrange flowers for distribution around the house). This leads in the before-mentioned servants' hall, with a staircase leading to their upstairs bedrooms. Running down the hall's east side is the kitchen complex, comprising the Butler's pantry (where tableware was stored), the kitchen (featuring a large Aga stove) and scullery (now the commercial kitchen). Running off the western (colder) side is the dairy, wine cellar and numerous storerooms. A servants' sitting room was also located here, with a passage running under the main staircase to the entrance hall.
According to Hodgson, the butler headed the servant hierarchy of the large house, followed by the cook. In practice, the cook (normally a woman) was the best paid, had the best bedroom, and the ear of the mistress. Below these was the parlour maid, who waited on the table and answered the front door. Then came the housemaid, who cleaned and attended to the comfort of guests, followed by general maids, who worked in the scullery and kitchen. The head gardener led the outside staff. The chauffeur was on call and responsible to those whom he drove. Dan and Meta's daughter, Philippa Williams, believes the staff structure at Longwood was 'quite formal'. She says it was the cook who wielded the power; she certainly had the largest bedroom. The Nurse (Nanny) and Governess were considered superior to the other servants because they were more educated and did not cook or clean. The Nurse's bedroom was also in the employers' wing of the house because her charges initially slept in her room.
Longwood's second story follows the typology identified by Hodgson: master bedrooms sited at the front of the house over the receptions rooms, smaller bedrooms sited along corridors, and the servants' bedrooms placed over the kitchen. The most impressive bedroom is Meta's. This was located over the drawing room and featured an en-suite with a bath in a tray so Meta could over flow her bath without ruining the floor. Dan's room was over the sitting hall; his bathroom was across the corridor. The Nurse's room was over the dining room. The smaller children and guests' rooms ran along perpendicular corridors. Most of these are now used as guest bedrooms. The transition to the servants' wing is through a door at the southern end. Here the ornate, wooden paneled walls give way to plain and painted ones, the ceiling is lower, and the bedrooms are much smaller. Garrick and Marguerite's children now occupy some of these rooms.
Little information is available on Longwood's outbuildings. Sources on Longwood either ignore the outbuildings or repeat facts about their construction in the 1850s and 60s. This places them among New Zealand's oldest farm buildings. Built to serve a home farm rather than a large pastoral run, they are smaller than similar buildings, of a similar age, at places like Brancepeth Station. Their rareness increases their historical value. All are painted in red oxide, the traditional colour of New Zealand farm buildings.
Charlotte Williams recalls that in the 1940s the outbuildings were mainly used for storage and that sometimes she and her siblings would play in them. Photographs taken by the Historic Places Trust in the 1980s show them in a state of disrepair and partially covered in vegetation. What follows is therefore only a partial history, drawn from conversations with the present owners during the site visit. More research is required to uncover their past.
The Cookhouse (now the Gamekeeper's Cottage) is the oldest building in Longwood and dates back to circa 1857. According to architectural historian Geoffrey Thornton the term cookhouse/cookshop was a euphemism for staff quarters.
This dates from circa late 1850s, early 1860s and was used to store grain and wool.
This dates from circa late 1850s, early 1860s. It was used to milk the house cow(s). Of interest are the pegs used to tether the cows in place. During the Riddiford period Jock McCullem was responsible for the house cows.
Coach house and Stables; Generator Shed
The Coach house and Stables date from circa late 1850s, early 1860s. A tree fall demolished the stables section in the 1990s and the complex now only houses a woodshed and a generator shed. The Generator Shed dates from approximately 1905 the present homestead was built. The DC generator was installed in 1906. It was used to power Longwood and is reputably one of the first domestic generators in the country. It is now decommissioned.
Longwood Polo Stables and Garages
The U-shaped building was designed by Gray Young and built in 1923 to house the Riddiford's cars (all Daimlers until the 1950s, when Chryslers were purchased) and polo ponies - a sport played by social elites. The southern wing contained the stables, quarters for grooms, a feed room, an apple store, and tackle room. The northern wing accommodated a coach house and a motor spirits store. The cars were housed in between. A canopy in the stables was used to clean cars. The groom's quarters and coach house has now been converted into guest accommodation by the present owners.
Other points of interest in the grounds include the duck pond and swimming pool, located to the north of the Homestead towards Longwood East Road, and the water tower, located to the south of Homestead. The duck pond and swimming pool are known to have been operational by 1895, fed by the same water race that fed the Lily Pond. The water tower was constructed out of a decommissioned conning (machine gun) tower from a Japanese prisoner of war camp that was located nearby on Camp Road. It seems likely is erected post 1945 after the camp was dismantled.
Longwood is located on the southern side of Longwood East Road, south east of Featherston. It is located on a rural plot of predominately flat pastureland, flanked by farmland and occasional farm buildings of later eras.
Description of Site
Longwood comprises a number of built structures: a Homestead, the Cookhouse, Granary, Cowshed, Generator Shed, Coach house and stables, Polo Stables and Garages, Glasshouse, Pool house (modern addition), and extensive brick walls.
These structures are surrounded by gardens that include the entrance drive through trees, a grove of expansive specimen trees in front of the house, a tennis court, a parterre, a potager, a garden pool, a pond and extensive park gardens and walks.
Description of Site
Longwood Homestead is approached from the road, through a grove of trees and bushes, to the house entrance on the west side of the house. The homestead is large and two-storeyed and set in park-like gardens. To the south are the farm buildings - the stables, accommodation and storage buildings, and the potager garden. To the east of the homestead are the Pool house (modern addition) and the Glasshouse. Brick walls line drives and connect to buildings.
Longwood Homestead is a two-storey house of irregular shape. It has a many-hipped and gabled roof of Marseille tiles. A number of large brick chimneys extend from the roof. The walls are constructed of double-layered brick with a stucco finish. Gable ends are weatherboarded or shingled. Twin semi-circular arches face north on the ground floor. Long windows are symmetrically arranged on wall sections. At the entrance a hipped canopy extends over the drive. Other entrances on the east, south and north walls lead to living rooms, kitchen and service halls. To the south of the building a water tower of timber-framed construction support a tank and associated pipe work. To the south of the building a water tower of timber-framed construction supports a tank and associated pipe work.
The front door leads into a grand timber square-panelled hall. The ceiling is plastered and supported by timber beams. In mid-span is a massive, tapered timber column.
Walls are lined full height with battened timber panelling. Hallways at ground floor are accessed through semi-circular timber arches. The Main Stairway is grand and has large square newels with moulded heads, finely turned balusters and moulded handrails. A large window over the stairs is made of 9 pane sashes.
The Library (or the Study)
The Library is a medium-size living room accessed from the hall. It has a simple arch over a bay window alcove of double-hung sashes and a second arch portions the room off to a large alcove with an extensive fire surround and a window alongside. The fire surround is large and timber-panelled containing leadlight glazed cupboards and a central ceramic relief plaque above the mantel. The timber mantel sits over a brick fireplace. Walls are lined with bookshelves and cabinets.
Adam Room (or the Parlour)
The Adam Room is a large L shaped living room, accessed off the hall through glazed panel doors in a finely decorated doorframe. The large north-facing bay window and tall west windows are finely paned. The westerly aspect is through leadlight casement windows dating from 1921. A fireplace, surround and mantel are finely decorated with plaster. The room features delicately moulded plaster decorations to the ceilings and walls. Above the second fireplace is a circular window with a deep reveal. Each side of the chimney is a plastered semicircular arch in a starburst pattern with the right arch housing a deep alcove. The sprung floor is matai. Electric switches to bells in the kitchen and the Butler's Room and the original radiators are in place.
The Sitting Hall is accessed off the Main Hall and is a large living room giving access through to the Dining Room. It has a smooth plastered ceiling with rectangular plaster panels trimmed with rectangular mouldings, and a rectangular block-style cornice. An upper floor supporting beam rests on two Corinthian-style tapered plastered columns. Walls are decorated with mouldings laid in a rectangular pattern. A large central fireplace has a mantel with concave and convex mouldings.
The Dining Room is a long rectangular room separated into three sections by columns and beams that support the upper floor. At one end the corners are angled in, adjacent to a hall on one side and to fill in the space of a previous chimney on the exterior wall. The ceilings between the beams are smooth and bordered by simple but deep cornices. The walls feature mouldings in a rectangular panel formation. Windows are leadlight-glazed. Two windows, with arched mouldings overhead, flank a centrally placed fireplace. Matai flooring extends the full length with a break beneath one beam. At the far end from the Sitting Hall entrance, a door leads to a small room, the Flower Room, which houses a sink and has a door into the dining room.
Hall and Servants' Staircase
The Hall and Servants' Staircase is adjacent to the Dining Room. Large obscure-glazed windows fill in the space between the stair dado and the smooth ceiling. The dado is panelled with vertical boards. Walls are smoothly plastered with no cornice. Panel and glazed doors give access to rooms. One portion of the otherwise long and straight halls accommodates access to the main hall around the angled wall of the Dining Room.
Accessed off the Servants' Hall is the Butler's Pantry with built-in cupboards and drawers and a sink beneath two east-facing windows. Walls and ceilings are smooth with no cornice. The door is glazed panelled and the floor is matai.
Accessed off the Butler's Pantry is the Kitchen with sheet board ceilings, a built-in set of cupboards and a large Aga stove set in a white tiled stove surround and mantel. A pair of glazed doors with a top-light window and two single windows face towards east. The floor is matai.
Accessed off the Kitchen is the Scullery with a tongue and groove ceiling, smooth plastered walls and stainless steel-topped joinery, over a matai floor. A two-sash window looks east.
From the Servants' Rooms, a hall leads to a wing of rooms and features a timber-lined skylight. The rooms are 8 to 10 m2 in size and include: a Dairy, with a timber ceiling, shelving and a tiled bench and a Wine Cellar with a timbered ceiling and wine racks on one wall. Through a hall door similar rooms have timbered ceilings, exposed brickwork walls and concrete floors; a Chiller Room, a Laundry with a copper above the boiler in the basement; a Back Door Room and a Toilet.
The Servants' Hall is a sitting room with a timber mantel and surround over a fireplace, smooth plastered walls and ceilings, no cornice but the inclusion of a picture rail. Access from this room drops several steps below the main stairway to a small alcove with an attractive stained glass timber window of the Art Nouveau period. Doors are six-panel timber doors. Beyond this alcove is access to the Hall.
The Upper Hall is accessed via the main stairway and continues the dark timber panelling of the Hall. The ceilings are smooth plaster finish and the smooth timber panels of the walls that are broadly battened with square dressed battens, finished at the ceiling with a modest cornice. Windows are paned and either casement or double hung with very deep timber-lined reveals.
The extent of the Upper Hall, above the main living areas, gives access to bedrooms and bathrooms that include: the Girls' Room; the Green Room (originally Mr Riddiford's Room); Mrs Riddiford's Room with its leadlight bay window and its adjoining bathroom with leadlight alcove windows; the concrete deck; and Mr Riddiford's Toilet and Bathroom and four further bedrooms.
Upper Servant's Hall
Continuing beyond the Upper Hall the passageway passes through an arch to the Upper Servants' Hall which is simply constructed with plaster finish walls, modest cornices but with an elegant stairway, the Servants' Stairway, with fine square-dressed balustrading and newels, and timber-revealed leadlight windows. This hallway gives access to bedrooms (originally for servants) that include: Nanny's Room with its matai floor and frieze rail; the Butler's Room with a fireplace, the Cook's Room with a fireplace, five Maid's Rooms and a Nursery.
Description of Site
The Cookhouse is one of three buildings (east of the other two) that lie between the Homestead and the Longwood Polo Stables and Garages. The single entrance faces the main house.
The Cookhouse is a vertical timber board-and-batten cottage comprising a single-storeyed gabled room with lean-to sections to the north and west. The roof is concealed timber rafters with corrugated metal roofing and no spouting. A brick chimney is centred over the gable end to the south, and to the north the gable contains a louvered window. Two 8-paned windows flank the entrance porch on the north side.
The porch opens onto the living room, rectangular in shape. The ceiling has sheet lining applied to the underside of the rafters and collar ties. Walls are horizontally boarded and the floor is totara, fixed with horseshoe nails. Architraves are moulded. The east facing rimu window is horizontally sliding. A fireplace is located at the south end gable opposite the door.
Single four-panel doors open onto a small bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom each with horizontally laid boards to the walls and ceiling, a sliding window and a totara floor. The kitchen has a sink set in a kauri draining top and a stove. The bathroom has sanitary fittings that include a copper pull-chain cistern. The bathroom and kitchen windows are vertically sliding.
Description of Site
The Granary is the central of three buildings that lie between the Homestead and the Longwood Polo Stables and Garages. Its three doors face the main house.
The Granary is a single storey weatherboarded building of a T shape layout. The corrugated iron roof is steeply gabled with gable ends facing east, west and north towards the house. The northern elevation is symmetrical with a central wide timber barn door and single windows each side. Further away are symmetrically arranged 12-pane windows, stable door and louvered window.
The Granary is unlined and has open framing and roofing timbers visible throughout. The totara floor is fixed with horseshoe nails. Loft joists of approximately 300mm x75mm are partially floored with totara boards. All weatherboards are visible from the inside.
Description of Site
The Cowshed is the third, and most western, of three buildings that separate the Homestead from the Longwood Polo Stables and Garages. The building is open towards the main house.
The Cowshed is a small rectangular timber-framed structure, of a size to house 3 cows in a single open room. The corrugated iron roof slopes gently to the south and walls are lined with corrugated iron. Part of the western wall is supported on a brick wall. The building has a door to the east and is open to the north. A very small building of similar construction is attached to one side and holds a small preparation bench.
The interior is unlined. Supporting posts and pens are arranged to house three cows with feeding troughs and holding stations. The floor is concrete with a sloping drain.
Description of Site
The Generator Shed is a small single storey building to the west of the Cowshed and connected to a long brick wall that lines the driveway.
The Generator Shed is a single-gabled building, with gable ends facing east and west. The roof is tiled. Two timber doors and two 4 paned timber windows face north. The exterior walls are horizontally weatherboarded and are mounted on concrete footings.
Open roof framing and walls expose exterior walls. An internal wall dividing the building into two rooms is lined with horizontal boards.
Other Features of Note
The original generator is located in the western of the two rooms.
Coachhouse and Stables
Description of Site
The Coachhouse and Stables is a long single storey building immediately to the west of the Generator Shed.
The Coachhouse and Stables is a long timber-framed building with openings facing north. The length of the main gable butts into a taller gable. The roofing is corrugated iron and the walls are lined with vertical boards and battens. The taller gable has a vent opening and the north face has a four paned window and several openings including a single timber door, unframed openings and a wide timber barn door. At the west end, a lean-to roof of corrugated iron is supported on two timber posts and an end wall. The west wall has a doorway opening.
The interior is divided into three spaces, one having pens for firewood storage. Interiors are unlined and without built-in floors.
Longwood Polo Stables and Garages
Description of Site
The Longwood Polo Stables and Garages building is a U-shaped single storey gabled building, sited to the south of the house, and is separated from the house by the Granary. They are accessed via a driveway around the entire building enclave from the house at the north to the Longwood Polo Stables and Garages to the south.
The Longwood Polo Stables and Garages building is a U shaped single storey brick building with timber-raftered and tiled gables. Rectangular portions make up the U shape with an east-facing opening surround a courtyard. Doors and windows have concrete lintels. Gable ends are weatherboarded and include vents.
The southern section of the building includes two 12-paned double-hung timber windows within the brickwork. Timber doors give access from the courtyard onto individual rooms: Stables, a Feed Room, an Apple Store, a Tackle Room and the Grooms' Quarters.
The middle section of the U is a perpendicular continuation of the brick-walled and gabled structure and features timber garage doors with space for 5 cars. A flat roof canopy, supported on posts, projects from the eave to provide cover for one vehicle.
The northern section of the building, The Mews, is a mirrored reflection of the building structure of the southern section. On the inner side of the U, timber doors give access to a toilet and a small plumbed service room. Timber doors on the outward face of the U give access to the Chaff and Hay Room, the Wood and Coal Room and the Carriage Room, now a small apartment.
This room is of painted brickwork, open-raftered ceiling space and a concrete floor that is sloped to a central drain. Three stalls divide the room with posts and wingwalls in rimu, smoothed and bevelled on edges. Each stall has a window vent and a manger. A timber wall adjoins the adjacent room, the Feed Room. A double-width sliding timber door opens onto the courtyard.
The Feed Room, Apple Store and Tackle Room
These are three small rooms, with concrete floors, painted brick walls and open raftered ceilings, each opening onto the courtyard with a single door. The Feed Room has a bench and paned window. The Apple Store has open racked shelves. The Tackle Room now opens onto the Grooms' Quarters and houses a dining room with painted brick walls, a plastered ceiling with exposed rafters and a double-hung 12-paned window.
The Grooms' Quarters
The Grooms' Quarters comprise a small apartment with a living room with timber ceiling, timber floor and wall panelling and painted brick walls. Joinery includes a 12-paned double-hung window and a glazed bookshelf above a brick fireplace. The exterior door opens onto the courtyard and is a 9-pane panel door with a 6-pane sidelight window. A small hall of irregular shape enables access to four small rooms (originally the grooms' bedrooms) with painted brick walls, a timber floor, and panel rimu doors. Two of these are now small bedrooms with timber floors, painted brick walls and double-hung 12-paned windows.
A small kitchen and a small bathroom (originally bedrooms) have relevant fittings with timber floors, painted brick walls and a window.
The five-car garage is a large single space with concrete floor, brick walls and open raftered ceiling. Garage doors open onto the courtyard, and the central bay and door opens under the canopy.
The Mews, Chaff & Hay Room, Wood & Coal Room
These rooms, which form the original Carriage Room, open to the north of the building. The west end of this section of the building is an apartment consisting of open living area within painted brick walls and a lined ceiling with exposed rafters, painted. A bathroom and a new mezzanine have been built within the space and new kitchen and bathroom fittings along with new skylights and double-hung windows form the apartment.
Description of Site
The Glasshouse is a long single-storey building located at some 50 m north of the house and bordering the west side of a parterre garden. Its length is orientated north to south and is connected to a long gated brick wall running to the house.
The Glasshouse is a brick timber and glass lean-to building with a centrally-placed cross gable. The central roof section is tiled and is supported by substantial brick walls on three sides. The entrance on the fourth side is formed with a six-pane glass panel door, side windows and smaller paned windows filling in the gable shape.
The symmetrical glasshouse rooms to each side of the entrance are formed of a truncated gable with the east side of the gable being supported by a high brick wall. The roof of the glasshouse rooms has timber rafters and the remnants of glazing. Other walls to the north, south and west are low and of brickwork.
The entrance door leads directly into a preparation room with high brick walls and panel doors to glasshouse rooms either side. The original boiler for the heating system, winding gear handles for the windows and a large rainwater collection tank are located here.
The glasshouse rooms to the north and south of the entrance have the remnants of the glazed ceiling. The brick walls support the perimeter pipe work of the heating system and the remaining winding gear and brackets needed to open the glazing.
Cookhouse, Granary, Cowshed, Coach house and Stables.
Homestead and Generator Shed.
Polo Stables and Garages and Glasshouse.
The Cookhouse: circa 1857: timber board and batten building with concealed timber rafters, corrugated metal roof and totara floor.
The Granary: late 1850s-early 1860s: weatherboarded building with timber rafters, corrugated iron roof, timber barn door and totara floor.
The Cowshed: late 1850s-early 1860s: timber framed structure, walls lined with corrugated iron and a corrugated iron roof.
Wood Store & Stables: late 1850s-early 1860s: timber framed building with a corrugated iron roof.
Longwood Homestead: 1906, extensive modifications 1921, minor modification 1940s: The walls are constructed of double layered brick with a stucco finish, gable ends are weatherboarded or shingled, plastered or timbered ceilings, tiled roof.
Generator Shed: approximately 1905: weatherboarded exterior walls, concrete footing, and tiled roof.
The Longwood Polo Stables and Garage: 1923: brick building with timber raftered and tiled gables, plastered or timbered ceilings, concrete or timber floor.
Glasshouse: 1923: brick, timber and glass lean to building with timber rafters and tiled roof.
20th March 2007
Report Written By
A. G. Bagnall, Wairarapa; An Historical Excursion, Trentham, 1976
Hamer, 1990 (2)
David Hamer and Roberta Nicholls (eds), The Making of Wellington 1800-1914, Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1990
T. Hodgson, The Big House: Grand & Opulent Houses In Colonial New Zealand, Random, Auckland, 1991
Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen
Peter Shaw, New Zealand Architecture: From Polynesian Beginnings to 1990, Auckland, 1991
Geoffrey Thornton, The New Zealand Heritage of Farm Buildings, Auckland, 1986
A fully referenced registration report is available from the NZHPT Central Region Office
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.