A rare example of a privately constructed redoubt from 1868
A timber blockhouse built in 1868, the Cameron Blockhouse is a rare surviving example of a privately constructed redoubt from that era.
Scottish settler John Cameron built the blockhouse for the protection and refuge of his family. The floor is of compacted earth, double-skinned tōtara walls were filled with clay to protect against bullets and the threat of fire, and the roof was corrugated iron. Slits in the walls were to enable return fire.
The Cameron blockhouse is typical of structures that were built in haste around the lower North Island at this time. Women and children – and if necessary those defending them – could withdraw upstairs and pull a ladder up behind them.
Designed to withstand about 24 hours siege, the Cameron blockhouse was sited to enable visual communication with two other blockhouses between this site and the York Stockade in Wanganui. Fortunately it was never attacked.
It is a NZ Historic Places Trust registered site and can be visited by the public free of charge. There is a small car park by the farm drive and you can walk down to enter the blockhouse by the door on the north side.
Cameron Blockhouse TOUR
Originally built in 1868, the Cameron Blockhouse is now well over a century old, and was fully restored to its orginal condition by the Historic Places Trust in the 1990’s.
The Cameron Blockhouse was placed to be in sight of another larger Stockade, the York Stockade, in Whanganui City. The York Stockade originally occupied the hilltop in Queen’s Park. Queen's Park, Whanganui.
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