The oldest buildings in New Zealand are discovered in Kerikeri Mission Station recently.
A Brief History Of Kerikeri Mission Station
Constructed in 1819, the Kerikeri Mission Station is home to two of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. This site provides a fascinating bit of the history of the nation.
People built Kerikeri Mission Station before the establishment of the Treaty of Waitangi. This Treaty began the relationship between the Indigenous Maori people and Britain. Since then, the number of European settlers in this land increased rapidly. This led to tribal wars in many regions.
The Kerikeri Mission Station is one of the foremost locations where the Maori invited Europeans to reside amongst them. More notably, it was a European colony under the shelter of Maori chiefs. In fact, Nga Puhi chief, Hongi Hika had gifted this land to Reverend Samuel Marsden.
Kemp House is the oldest European building that still is in quite a good shape today in New Zealand. Both missionary carpenters and Maori had credit for constructing this building.
The close by Stone Store is the oldest surviving stone building in the entire country.
Kerikeri Mission Station Buildings – Kerikeri Mission Station
This building sits in the Bay of Islands. Its grounds are a perfect spot for taking pictures when visiting.
The three main buildings here are St. James Church, Stone Store, and Kemp House. All of them are on the list of New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
St. James Church
You can catch a glimpse of St James Anglican Church while looking up the cliff from the Stone Store. The church was constructed in 1878 and is still running today. Sits along the church is a graveyard. This is the burial chamber of the Kemp family ancestor.
Stone Store – Kerikeri Mission Station
It took 4 years, from 1832 to 1836 to accomplish this construction. As we mentioned above, this site in Kerikeri Mission Station is the oldest surviving stone structure in New Zealand.
The original purpose of it is to serve as a Missionary Society warehouse station. Since the 1870s, it has been acting as a retail store.
Today, it’s a delightful spot to appreciate a combination of old and modern. There is also a small gallery on the upper floor.
This is the most geriatric surviving European structure in the Kerikeri Mission Station region. At first, it was built as a mission house. Then, missionary George Clarke occupied it. And later on, its owner is the Kemp family’s descendants.
In 1974, Ernest Kemp granted the entire house and its contents to New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
If you want to visit the Kemp House, you must take a guided tour. Tours are open at various times of the day, such as 10.30 am, 11.30 am, and 2.15 pm.
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