Life at Riccarton before the Deans

Banks Peninsula whaler Edward Weller must have smiled to himself that October day in 1839.  Maybe he even waved goodbye to those members of the Ngai Tahu who had foolishly sold him Banks Peninsula and the greater part of the Port Cooper (Canterbury) Plains for an old whaler’s boat and a few items of clothing.  …

Jimmy Robinson Clough (1811 – 1874)

Jimmy Robinson Clough (1811 – 1874)    Died of old age      Place of Death: Alford Forest, Canterbury * One of the first Europeans to settle in Canterbury – namely Akaroa. * First European to travel up the Avon River. * Built the flagpole and was present at Green’s Point, Akaroa where the British Flag …

The Maori Oven At The Avon

When the Deans’ original run of 33,000 acres were taken down to 400 acres in 1850 – to make way for the city of Christchurch to be built – the Deans’ ended up sitting snug between Clyde Road, Deans Ave, Blenheim Road and Fendalton Ave. In 1851 as well as Riccarton Bush (which swept across …

The First Settler Spots

Over 700 settlers flooded into Lyttelton between the 16th and the 27th of December 1850 from our First Four Ships.  Although many public works had occurred to get the port as ready as it could be, the new immigration barracks would in no way be able to house everybody.  It was so bad, some took …

Sir William Fox (1812 – 1893)

After reading about Sir William Fox and getting the idea that he tended to go where the wind took him, I can’t ignore the fact that today, we do not have a clear idea of what William was really like.  The descriptions of his personality and values go from one side of the scales to …

Christchurch’s First Christmas ~ 1848

On the 27th March 1848, the day the Canterbury Association was founded, the dream that was to become Christchurch was born.  Although at the time, the Port Cooper (Canterbury) Plains was just one of the options, by the month of December, it was almost a certainty. All throughout 1848, Canterbury Association surveyors began to replace …

Hugh McIlraith (1836 -1904)

Grace McIlraith (nee Lyons) was only 10 years old when she came to stay at Riccarton in 1854. In the company of her parents, they had walked up to the Deans Cottage (which then faced the Avon, just a few metres from a cattle track that we know as Kahu Road today) and was met …

Jimmy Robinson Clough

Jimmy Robinson Clough was an British ex-convict, ex-whaler, farmer, boat and fence builder, a drunk, suspected bigamist and the first European to settle in Canterbury. In 1837, after spotting a beautiful Maori woman in Akaroa where his ship had dropped anchor, he deserted his post and married her.  They had 5 children together. In 1840 …

Thomas Cass (1817 – 1895)

Tommy Cass knew life’s ups and downs.  By the time he was surveying the 33,000 acres that would become the Deans’ future rural station of ‘Homebush’ in 1851, Tommy had earned the respect and admiration of all those around him.  You get the feeling that he walked along with a great confidence and self knowledge …