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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Ashley Gorge — (Runs 29 and 302)

Ashley Gorge
(Runs 29 and 302)

Run 29, of ten thousand acres, below the Harewood Forest between the Cust and the Ashley, was taken up on 29th May, 1852, by Thomas Ellis and Gustav page 62Gartner (sometimes called Gustav von Gartner). They also kept the Golden Fleece Hotel in Christchurch in partnership. Ellis was the son of a doctor at Birmingham where he was born. He arrived in Canterbury in 1851. In my first edition I confused him with a different Ellis, but these particulars were apparently supplied to the Cyclopædia of New Zealand by his sons so are probably correct.

Ashley Gorge seems to have been called Pukaukau in 1855, when Ellis, who bought Gartner's share that year, had 1035 sheep running on it. In May, 1859, Ellis took up Run 302 of five thousand acres between his original run and the bush. The station afterwards carried 6,000 sheep.

In 1881 Ellis let the run and sheep to Alexander Henderson, who had been his manager, and McBeath, and the Government cut up the leasehold in 1896. A few years later Ellis's executors sold the freehold (near East Oxford) to the Government who made a deferred payment settlement of it.

When Ellis let the station he went home to Birmingham where he died about 1890.