Original Filename: Roskilde_083.jpg ( not available for download )






Situated at Mauriceville West 15 miles North of Masterton. Roskilde was the home of Lars Peter Larsen from Roskilde Denmark, one of the original Scandinavian settlers at Mauriceville. They had been brought out in 1873 by the Vogel Government under their Public Works and Immigration Policy to clear the bush and push the railway line north from Masterton. This saw 80 families from Denmark, Norway and Sweden established at a transit camp nine miles north of Masterton prior to them being able to take up their options to buy their maximum of 40 acres per family. At Mauriceville, where the track forked, the Norwegians took the right track and the Danes took the left track to form the largest Danish community in New Zealand at that time. Primitive houses were built and the men and older boys went out for days on end to keep their contract to clear the bush to push the line through. The womenfolk were left at home to clear and tend their 40 acre block, which were too small for viable farms. Over the years as a family left the district their 40 acre block would be bought by a neighbour and added to their area, slowly making each farm more viable, these paddocks would then be known by the name of the original owner. The Roskilde house that started as a very basic first home of pit-sawn timber and wooden shingle roof, survived bush fires and to this day internal timbers show signs of scorching by fire. Additions and alterations over 125 years have slowly seen improvements to the present day, where it is a modern home, whilst the land area increased from the original 40 acres to at one stage 1000 acres.


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.