Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 74


The Ardgowan Estate was acquired by the Government under "The Land for Settlements Act, 1894." The Land Purchase Board having recommended that the estate should be purchased, and the owners having refused to sell at the price offered, the Compensation Court, consisting of a Judge of the Supreme Court and two Assessors, one named by the owners and the other by the Government, fixed the price to be paid at £34,600, with certain costs.

The land has been held by the New Zealand and Australian Land Company since it was purchased from the Provincial Government of Otago in 1861.

It has now been resurveyed into suitable sections, the fences erected by the company being made use of as new boundaries so far as the subdivisions will permit.

The detailed description of each section on pages 12 to 22 shows the quality of the land, but generally the property may be described as good agricultural, and the whole of it may be ploughed, the north-eastern hills being, however, steep, but at present well covered with good natural and artificial grasses.

The estate contains three qualities of land:—
1st.1,400 acres about the homestead, very good.
2nd.1,500 acres in the centre, not quite so good.
3rd.1,300 acres on the ridges, rougher, and farther away from market.

The total area which has been ploughed amounts to 3,610 acres, and that not yet ploughed to 630 acres.

The unploughed land consists mostly of stream margins, where the tortuousness of the waterway renders cultivation troublesome; there are also some page 4 steep faces which, although capable of being cultivated, have not yet been ploughed. These river-flats and faces are, however, of material help when grass on the ridges and downs is scarce, and they probably yield more food than the land would do if laid down in the usual way.

Most of the old lagoons have been tile-drained and cultivated. The total area laid down in grass is about 2,904 acres, of which 1,219 acres have been sown three years, 732 acres have been sown five years, 369 acres have been sown one year, 310 have been sown two years, 269 acres have been sown eight years, and 5 acres have been sown ten years.

The estate was divided into twenty-seven paddocks, and was used for breeding Border Leicester sheep, the average number grazed being about 8,000.

It is famous for retaining grass in the driest of seasons when other properties in the district are bare, and yields better crops in dry seasons than any of the surrounding land.

The Oamaru District has been long known as containing some of the finest agricultural land in New Zealand. The rocks are siliceous limestone, the surface soil being a rich black loam, and the subsoil porous.

Crops.—Last year there were 375 acres in oats, 209 in wheat, 15 in turnips, 75 acres of McMaster's paddock in cultivation, and 31 acres are plantations. There were good returns of wheat, and also of grassseed from paddocks which, although well stocked, could not be eaten down. The estate is well watered by ever-flowing streams, and is admirably adapted for dairy-farming.

Roads.—It is intended to form about eight miles and a quarter of the new roads laid out—namely, Tutu Hill Road, Parson's Creek Road, Homestead Road, Devil's Bridge Road, Baxter's Road, and the Quarry Road; and to gravel a portion of the Parson's Creek, Homestead, and Devil's Bridge Roads. A part of the

page break
Shearers' Quarters, &c., &c., Ardgowan.

Shearers' Quarters, &c., &c., Ardgowan.

page 5

road near Weston will probably be cleared of trees to its full width. Many of the streams are bridged for crossing cattle and sheep—about a hundred crossings being on the estate.

Advantages of Situation.—The situation of Ardgowan is within a mile and a half of Oamaru, and it is adjacent to two railways: one passing through Weston at the south-western corner of the estate, and the main line passing through Oamaru.

At the Oamaru Wharf large vessels load wool and grain, and discharge Home cargoes, thus bringing the markets of the world within an hour's cartage, for the disposal of produce.

There is a dairy-factory at Waiareka within half-a-mile of the western boundary of the property, and another at Pukeuri Point; and there are freezing-works and a wool-mill in the immediate vicinity. The stone quarries at Weston affords material for the erection of buildings in a substantial manner at low prices.

Fences.—The fences are mostly of gorse, trimmed in 1894, and have gates in complete order. They form boundaries of sections or paddocks for immediate occupation. Very little gorse has spread, and the grass is generally clean and free from weeds.

Buildings.—The Homestead buildings consist of dwelling-house, stone stable, woolshed, chaff-house, men's kitchen and sleeping-rooms, woodshed, daily, store, sheep-yards, dip, cow-shed, stone piggery. They will be let with the land on which they stand, and, in addition to the rent, the tenant will have to insure in the Queen's name to the value of £500.

On McMaster's paddock, at present occupied by Mr. Hewson, there is a cottage of three rooms which goes with the section.

In Jones's Paddock, on Section 113, there is a shepherd's house which will be let with the land.

Plantations.—The blue-gum plantation of 6 acres is withheld from lease in the meantime, but all the other plantations go with the land, excepting where roads page 6 have to be taken through them. The tenant is not authorised to cut down the plantations on his lease-hold, except for thinning and for his own use, without the consent of the Commissioner of Crown Lands for Otago, and it is a condition of the lease that trees equal in number to those cut shall be planted the following season.

Reserves.—A section has been withheld from lease in perpetuity, and will be available for a site for a dairy-factory at a small rent.

Two sites for schools have also been surveyed, and will be vested in the Education Board when required.

The Education Reserve of 40 acres (No. 134), having been taken over from the Company in purchasing the estate, will be offered for lease in accordance with the School Commissioners' lease conditions for fourteen years.

Residence Exemptions.—Townspeople who live on small allotments of 1 acre or under, within one mile of any section applied for, will not be required to reside on their leasehold so long as they continue to reside on their town land, but the requisite improvements must be made.

Successful applicants for sections on this estate can take possession on 1st June, 1896.

page break
Sowing Grain, Devil's Bridge Paddock, Ardgowan.

Sowing Grain, Devil's Bridge Paddock, Ardgowan.