Historic Place Category 2
Registration Includes: The entrance gates, gate posts and associated wall and the land on CT CB687/9
Lot 1 DP 18800 (CT CB687/9), Canterbury Land District
Andrew and Catherine Burnett, originally from Sutherland, Scotland, took up Mount Cook Station in 1864. With their family increasing to eight children they survived the rigours of a very isolated life in this remote region. By 1873 they purchased land near Cave so that the children could more readily attend school and time was shared between the two stations. To educate the family Andrew Burnett built a home in Perth Street Timaru. This was gifted for a museum and later demolished to make way for the present purpose built museum. Andrew's younger son, Thomas (1877-1941), a member of parliament for the local electorate, had a great respect for his parents' achievements and those of the first settlers of the MacKenzie Country, devoting time to recording in detail the history of the original settlement of the area . In 1930 he had St. David's Church built at Cave as a memorial to his parents and other Mackenzie pioneers
The Burnett Homestead Gates were erected by T.D. Burnett during the worst years of the great depression (1932-3), with the inscription that reads 'to keep minds and hands busy'. Stylistically they resemble the nearby St. David's Pioneer Memorial Church (1928-30, Cat. I), a heavily 'Arts and Crafts' influenced Romanesque/Norman structure designed by Herbert Hall of Timaru, and also built of river boulders. Perhaps the same craftsmen who had worked on the church were provided with work for this project. The inscriptions are an interesting mixture, though once more Burnett is honouring and commemorating his parents and other early pioneers.
The Burnett Homestead Gates have significance as an example of the projects undertaken during the Great Depression. Their scale indicates the status of the landowner who commissioned them and the overall message they convey is homage to the pioneer settlers of the area.
Summary of Assessed Criteria
(a) they represent an example of the projects undertaken during the Great Depression. In providing his home with an imposing entrance way, T.D. Burnett was able to give paid work to local people in need, with a project which might not have been so grand in another era.
(g) The gates and their flanking walls are of technical and design interest through their massive construction and idiosyncratic inscriptions.
(k) The gateway is a landmark feature in Burnett Valley as is St. David's Pioneer Memorial Church (Category I) on a wooded hillside across the road. Built in 1930, it too was commissioned by T.D. Burnett.
- Burnett, T.D - Architect
- Groves, Charles - Architect
- McBride & Groves - Builder
- Original Construction: 1932 (circa) - 1933 (circa)
Iron gates supported on massive ashlar bluestone gate pillars flanked by river boulder abutments.
- Interview,Michael Woodlock, St. Andrew's College, Christchurch
- New Zealand Historic Places Trust,Donovan, D. 'Rugged Beauty', May 1994, pp. 22-23. NZHPT File 12004-112; NZHPT Field Record Form.
A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Southern Region Office.
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