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Situated North/East of Masterton in the Bideford district. In 1858 a pastoral lease was granted to George Scott for a large block of land called Bowlands. The exact area is not known due to the nature and bush cover of the land, but it is thought about 30,000 acres. Bowlands along with Glen Donald and Tividale took up all the land east of Taueru River. On the other side was Maori land that was later split up. By 1859 Scott sold the lease to W.N. Luxford and John Varnham who managed the property. In 1860 Luxford gained licence for the, by then 12,000 acres, which was more saleable. In 1865 G.H. Luxford bought the property for 9,000 pounds and in Dec. 1865 resold to a Miller Family Partnership. The Miller Family were early immigrants from Scotland who had come out on the "Blenheim" in Jan. 1840. On the same ship were the Cameron family who, were related and by then, had just sold their Te Whiti property. The two families formed a partnership to purchase Bowlands. It is not known who built the original extremely large nearly three storey homestead, renown for its grand ballroom that accommodated 200 during a fundraising ball for the war effort in 1918. With 16 rooms upstairs, this was later pulled down and much of the timber used to build the new homestead, plus other buildings at Rosebank. 1873 saw the partnership dissolved, the scab epidemic had decimated the flock, and the presence of so many adults and an increasing number of children all living in the one house created pressures so they decided to move on, with the Camerons buying Spring Hill, James Millers buying Fernlands and Robert Miller buying nearer Masterton. Bowlands was then sold to Henry Rutherfurd who only lasted one year before selling to John Morrison for 14,393 pounds for the 7,787 acre property which he added to his Blairlogie holdings. About this time the rabbit plague was overtaking the district and Morrison was forced to sell Bowlands to finance a rabbit proof fence around his Blairlogie property. R.S. Hawkins, an English gentleman who wished to establish a country estate was the purchaser, and the story is told, of how on the day of signing the deed of purchase, he arrived in his buggy and ordered his footman to "bring in my bags" which contained the purchase price as 20,000 gold sovereigns. Much development took place under Hawkins, with many English and exotic trees being planted, but the rabbits were the eventual winners and he was forced to sell in 1887. W.H. Levin stock and station agents took over and put in a manager Jock Mac Rae who brought the property back to profitability, staying as manager until 1910, when the property was sub-divided into six farms. The Bowlands woolshed which was originally two board and 18 stands was one of the biggest in the Wairarapa being built around 1902. Henry Falloon born at Rosehill Ireland had farmed at Pinehill on the Bideford Rd. Later a son Jack took over Rosebank adding 1,000 acres of Bowlands land to his, then later again buying Bowlands. The original grand old homestead built in the 1800's was pulled down and much of the timber used to build another grand two storey homestead in 1925 plus other buildings on Rosebank. After Jack's death in 1936 the estate of both Bowlands and Rosebank was divided amongst the family and later the top floor was taken off the Bowlands homestead not only to reduce it in size but to rebuild it as another homestead, Berwyn. Unfortunately fire claimed another historic Wairarapa homestead in 1991 when Bowlands burnt to the ground. Having been rebuilt Bowlands is presently occupied by John and Phillipa Falloon, a great grandson of Henry, also a descendant of the Millers, who owned Bowlands in the 1860's. The new Bowlands is the forth house, and the site where the slab whare used to be is now occupied by Acorn Cottage the original homestead of the James family, which was lovingly restored by Di and Tom Bunny of Te Roto. When they sold Te Roto the cottage was transported to Bowlands and sits in pride of place near the original stables c1860 and the cow bails from a similar era, looking down on the forth Bowlands homestead.


NOTE: The information contained here is a result of Des De Stefano's own research and was current at the time he was working on the project.