Brancepeth

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Brancepeth.

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036-7-8

Brancepeth

 

Situated in the Stronvar district South East of Masterton. First settled in 1856 by the three Beetham brothers, who shortly after in 1860 formed a partnership with Mr. T.C. Williams. During its hey-day it was probably the biggest and most written about of all the Wairarapa stations, and was the home of the Beetham side of the partnership.

Additions in 1870 to the partnership saw the 8586 acre Tupurupuru block added making a total of 20,000 acres. Mamaku's 8000 acres were bought, then a small block Ahikouka used for holding stock, and in 1883 a 15,000 acre block of heavy bush country was purchased, it was named Annedale after T.C. Williams wife and Beetham's sister, then from the Maoris' the partnership obtained Otuamore, Ngatakoko, Waipapa and Patukawa, then during the 1880s the Wharekaka bush block was obtained, meaning that by 1890 the total area was 70,000 acres. The main property had a rabbit- proof netting ring boundary fence 157 miles long. Brancepeth was not just a station but a community with a staff that could reach into the hundreds at times, it had its own church, school, library, post office, staff accommodation, cook-house, blacksmith's shop, stables, saw-mills, milking bails, wool-sheds, indeed everything needed for self-sufficiency. The original homestead built late 1850s was towards the end of the Nineteenth Century demolished due to deterioration of sap wood used in its construction. Extensive additions and alterations over the years have seen the stately homestead be granted Historic Places Trust ranking.

1905 saw the dissolution of the partnership and the allocation of the various properties amongst the Beetham and Williams families.

 

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.