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

Sandy Knolls — (Runs 26 and 114)

Sandy Knolls
(Runs 26 and 114)

In the old days the name Sandy Knolls was spelt in several different ways; Sandy Knowles, Knowles's Land, and so on, and there is a tradition that an Alexander Knowles once lived there. There may have been a page 26shepherd of that name there for a time, but I could never find anyone who had seen him, and I think the station was named after the sandy hummocks near the riverbed there.

Run 26, on the river, was taken up by Augustus and Charles Perceval on 7th September, 1851, and they took up Run 114, which lay further out on the plain near the present railway, shortly afterwards. Perceval brothers transferred both runs to E. M. Templer very soon after the leases had been issued. I believe that George Duncan Lockhart, who in those days lived at Coringa, was a partner of Templer's at Sandy Knolls. Lockhart was afterwards part owner of the Hakataramea station on the Waitaki. His grandson is the present Sir Greame Lockhart. An account of the Percevals will be found under Easedale Nook.

About 1854 Templer sold Sandy Knolls to Thomas Rowley, who by 1858 had 2300 sheep there on fifteen thousand acres.

Rowley's father was the first dean designate of the Christchurch Cathedral. He was appointed dean but never came to New Zealand. Rowley lived at his farm, Middleton, afterwards for so many years Sir Charles Bowen's residence. His son who managed Sandy Knolls for him married one of Archdeacon Mathias's daughters, and I believe his son is now in the Federated Malay States Government Service. There are several of the family in Otago and Southland.

In 1863 J. T. Ford bought Sandy Knolls for Charles Reed and it became part of Tresillian.

To disarm future criticism it is as well to note that Rowley transferred his leases to Ward and Newman in 1860. This was probably to secure a mortgage, as Ford certainly told me he bought, the station from Rowley. The homestead was on the Waimakariri riverbed close to the western boundary of the run. There is no trace of it left now.