Eridge 1

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Eridge 1.





Situated in Titoki Street Masterton. Eridge undoubtedly would have been probably one of the most stately homes in Wairapapa if not New Zealand.

Completed in 1895 for brothers J.F. and Robert Maunsell as their town house, while farming Tinui Station. It was the first house built on Lansdowne Hill, overlooking Lansdowne Lake it had a panoramic view looking north, west and south over the Tararua Ranges, Wairarapa plains and the artificial lake. Noted architects Penty and Forde designed the 20 room homestead to the highest standards. The entrance hall was paved in mosaic; marble and Aberdeen granite were used in nearly every room. Ceilings and walls were stained timber or hand painted, the latest ventilation systems operated throughout the house, and the formal dining room had telephonic connections to the kitchen. Tastefully designed fuel bunkers had been built into the wall panelling near windows so that fuel did not have to be carried through the house, and it was the first house in the Wairarapa to have the most modern invention electricity available in every room at the flick of a switch. The engineer Mr. Turnbull of Wellington having installed this mystical supply, he had worked in close co-operation with Robert Maunsell the batchelor brother who had always lived with Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Maunsell. He was a most practical and engineering minded person and many of his ideas about the kerosene generator for the electricity were used. The power was generated in an out-building on the property and fed into cells (batteries) that were capable of holding three days supply for the house. He also devised the idea of the water supply for the house being pumped up by electricity from the lake to a tank on a high tower behind the house giving good pressure. The house was also connected to the Masterton Post Office with a telephone. Not only did the Maunsell's enjoy the highest standards, but the staff accommodation was of the highest. Not only did each member have their own room but also staff sitting and dining rooms.

In 1932 the house was sold to Mr. Pat Borthwick of Borthwicks Freezing Works, who during the timber shortage times dismantled most of the house only leaving the dining room, kitchen, pantry, laundry and staff accommodation. The timber was used to build Te Whanga Homestead. Eridge in its much reduced size and gardens is still a family home in Titoki Street Masterton.


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.