Canterbury’s Oldest Stone House Was Built – 1848

After surviving the three month voyage from Scotland and completing his two year work contract with the Deans brothers of Putaringamotu (Riccarton), Samuel Manson, Canterbury’s first carpenter and father of the first European child born on the plains, must have felt a great pride when he built his own staff quarters on his own land. The year was 1848. This simple stone and wooden abode is now Canterbury’s oldest stone home and can be viewed at Orton Bradley Park on Banks Peninsula. The Deans Cottage at Riccarton, built 1843, was also constructed by Samuel and has the title of Christchurch’s oldest building.

In 1845, both the Gebbies (another family from Scotland on a working contract at Riccarton) and the Mansons left the employment of the Deans and moved out to what would become Teddington on Banks Peninsula. They left with 14 cows each to help make their own start. Samuel, once he had his family settled, took on work at Purau with the Greenwood brothers. His own farm, which he called Kains Hill, produced fine cheeses and after the arrival of the first four ships in 1850, Samuel would walk to Lyttelton around the beaches to do some selling. In doing so, he became an excellent judge of the tides. The pair had 17 children, the youngest being born in 1864.

Damaged by the earthquakes of 2011, fundraising began for the necessary repairs needed to bring the old whare back to its former glory.  Happily, this restoration was completed and the cottage was officially reopened on 13th May 2018, with some members of  Manson family present.

For a more in depth look at the Manson family, please check out the following link:

*Photos taken by Annette Bulovic*

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