Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Stoney Homestead

Stoney Homestead is situated at 12 Galbraith Greens in Silverdale. The earliest part of the building was built on a different site nearby by William Galbraith in 1858 and was known as Galbraith Cottage. The cottage was later moved up the hill and positioned next to the first part of the Stoney Homestead, which was built in its current location in 1866.

The building was sold later on to Major Henry Butler Stoney. The Stoney family made several additions to the original cottage spread over four phases, which were undertaken to accommodate the growing Stoney family. Remains of outbuildings and the mature garden can also be seen today at the site.

Ref: NZ Map 2256, map of Silverdale, 1940-1945, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Major Stoney was a soldier and politician. He was also the writer of what is claimed to be the first NZ novel by someone resident in NZ. Entitled 'Taranaki: a Tale of the War' the novel was issued in 1861. Stoney was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1816. After arriving in NZ in 1860, he saw service in Taranaki and the Waikato. He also represented the Northern Division in the Auckland Provincial Council in 1872-1873 and later filled a number of government posts.

Stoney Homestead is a protected heritage place under the Auckland Council District Plan (Rodney Section) (p.68, No. H207). The first stage of a $1.5m restoration project of the homestead has just been completed. The property is owned by the Auckland Council and the council has worked closely with Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, Stoney Homestead Trust, Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd, N Cole Builders and New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) to plan the restoration.

Ref: AWNS-18991215-7-3, store in Wade, Silverdale, 1899, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The first restoration phase included structural repairs, weatherproofing and exterior restoration, during which every effort was made to preserve as much historic fabric as possible. It also saw the ‘eviction’ of at least one angry possum!
 
So get down to Stoney Homestead and check out the restoration and some new interpretation panels . The possums’ loss is our gain!

Ref: AWNS-19140319-52-7, Wade River, Silverdale, 1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections

A copy of 'Taranaki: a Tale of the War' is held in the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Central City Library and Auckland Libraries also holds a number of other heritage resources relating to the Silverdale area, which can be searched by theme.

Author: Rebecca Harfield, Heritage Assets Advisor, Auckland Council 

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