Topic: Honeyfield House, 269 Lower Timaru Road (circa 1850s-60s - relocated 1870)

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Honeyfield House 1990s View

1990s View NPDC Heritage Study

This attractive Regency style home was the residence of James Charles Honeyfield and his family, and was probably relocated from Moturoa to its present location in 1870. The exact construction date and original location of the home are unclear, although it probably dates to the 1850s or 1860s, and was likely situated at Moturoa, on land owned by James. 

James Honeyfield emigrated to New Zealand in the 1850s along with four of his siblings - he initially farmed at Barrett Road, and later shifted to Moturoa, where in January 1864 he married Caroline Barrett, daughter of Dicky (Richard) and Rawinia Barrett. James and Caroline went on to have five children and continued to live at Moturoa for a few years. 

In March 1869 James purchased land on Lower Timaru Road from Robert Greenwood (Sections 20, 25 and 33 Tataraimaka District). In February 1870, half a year after purchasing the Timaru Road farm, James advertised tenders for "removing a house from the Sugar Loaves to Tataraimaka" - it seems likely this advertisment relates to the shifting of the present farm house, and the building was probably first deconstructed, and then re-erected at the new farm. 

Tenders for Shifting Honeyfield House to Tataraimaka, TH 5 March 1870, page 1

Taranaki Herald, 5 March 1870

The home is constructed in the Regency style and is clad in plain horizontal weatherboards (unclear if this is the original cladding). The home has two pairs of french doors either side of the front door, with a wrap-around veranda, and return gable roof. The building is significant as a rare example of a Regency style home in Taranaki, and is one of only two known Nineteenth Century New Plymouth homes in this style - the other is 'Willowfield' the Hirst family homestead on Cameron Street (constructed 1863), to which it is almost identical, except Willowfield is clad in veritcal board and battens rather than horizontal weatherboards. Both homes draw on the New Zealand Colonial Mission architecture of the 1820s-40s period, and have frontages almost identical to the Treaty House at Waitangi. 

In the mid-1890s James and Caroline returned to Moturoa, where they still owned land; although they retained ownership of the Tataraimaka property. Caroline died in November 1899, and James in February 1911, with the Timaru Road farm passing to their children. As of 2018, the farm is still owned by the Honeyfield family - almost 150 years in the same family!

As a pre-1900 building, any alterations to the home, or earthworks on the property, may require archaeological authority from Heritage New Zealand. 

See Taranaki Land Deeds Index I2, page 417.

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Honeyfield House, 269 Lower Timaru Road (circa 1850s-60s - relocated 1870)

City:New Plymouth