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The Old Frontier : Te Awamutu, the story of the Waipa Valley : the missionary, the soldier, the pioneer farmer, early colonization, the war in Waikato, life on the Maori border and later-day settlement

The Rangiaowhia Blockhouse

The Rangiaowhia Blockhouse.

A veteran Forest Ranger (Mr Wm. Johns, of Auckland) says:

page 53

“About 1870 the Rangiaowhia blockhouse, designed exactly like that at Orakau, was built close to where the Hairini school now stands. It was constructed of four-inch planks. We used it as a refuge place in the panic times. Being doubtful of its strength, I proposed to my fellow-settlers one day that I would test whether it was really bullet-proof. We all went out, and with an Enfield rifle at fifty yards I put a bullet not only through the front wall of four-inch planks but also nearly through the rear wall. Then I took one of the solid plugs of the floor-loopholes in the overhanging upper storey, a piece of timber seven inches thick, set it up, and drilled it through with a bullet. We decided that we could not stay in the blockhouse, as it would only be a death-trap in case of attack; so we represented its condition to Major Jackson, our commanding officer. Then the blockhouse was made really bullet-proof by giving it a plank lining and filling the intervening space, four inches or so, with sand and gravel.”

page 54
Plan of Te Awamutu Redoubt, 1874.

Plan of Te Awamutu Redoubt, 1874.