Topic: John Dudley and Broome Farm

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John Dudley, an early Christchurch resident, who lived in the area now known as Dallington.

John Dudley, born in 1807, was the third son of Rev Edward Dudley, Rector of Broome, Staffordshire. He and his brother Charles arrived with their families in Lyttleton on the Labuan on 12 August 1851 John's wife was Ellen Scott, second daughter of Thomas Scott, Esq., of Pedmore, Worcestershire. They arrived with their three children-Ellen (aged 5), Emily Maria (3), and Edward John (2).

Not long after his arrival, he purchased R. S. 183, (area currently known as Dallington), from the Canterbury Association, and called it Broome Farm. The farm was 100 acres and stretched from McBratneys Road in the north, to Dallington Bridge in the south. He built the homestead on the eastern border in what is now Locksley Avenue opposite Kerrs Reach. Its western border was the Avon River by River Road/Dallington Terrace. He also took up land north of the Waimakariri which was known as Dudley’s Run, and was the first to take up the Snowdon Station in the Rakaia Gorge, both with his partner Leach, who managed the properties.

Ellen and John were Avonside Anglican stalwarts, and their home at Broome Farm was one of two houses in the district in which church services were first held. The other was at Stricklands, the Mackies residence. Services were held alternatively till the church at Avonside was opened.

John Dudley died on June 20, 1861, aged 55 years. He is buried at Avonside Anglican Churchyard cemetery under a Yew tree, opposite the old cob wall of the church. His widow went on to marry school master William De Troy three years later.

Thankfully John did not live to hear of his daughter’s fate. In June 1867, John and Ellen's daughter Emily married soldier/magistrate Reginald Newton Biggs, who later became involved in the hunt for Te Kooti after he escaped from the Chatham Islands. Seventeen months after their marriage, Biggs, Emily, their infant child, and a nurse were massacred by Te Kooti's forces at Matawhero near Gisborne.

In 1880 Broome Farm was sold to Henry Jekyll who changed its name to Dallington, after an estate in the town of Northamptonshire. Three years later, 1883, Mr H. P. Hill bought the old homestead along with a considerable area of the land and lived there for several years. He established a herd of Jerseys which was of the most notable in the Dominion.

In 1883, Jekyll developed the portion of Broome Farm that he had retained, by putting in roads and then sold the land. At this time he was living on Avonside Drive at Gayhurst, which he named after a town in England. Mr William Andrews, a founder of Andrews and Beaven bought the homestead in 1896 and renamed it Groveley. Approximately seventeen years later he demolished the old homestead and built a new one on the same site. His son also built a home on the east side of the property and named in Wylie. The names Groveley and Wylie being taken from Groveley Wood and Wylie River in Salisbury.

Broome Farm became a very popular place of call in the early days, especially for boating parties on the river. The gardens and property entrances were typical of an old English homestead. There was a fine avenue of eucalyptus leading to the house, and the gardens were renown in Christchurch.



Acland, L.G.D. The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series. Whitcombe & Tombs, 1946, Christchurch.

Caldwell, Graham. Early Dallington. Kiwi Publishers, c1995, Christchurch.

Greenaway, Richard. Avonside Parish Cemetery: graves to be visited during the Carter Group Heritage Week, 2001. Canterbury Public Library, 2001, Christchurch, NZ.

Greenaway, Richard. Rich man, Poor man, Environmentalist, Thief: biographies of Canterbury personalities written for the Millennium and for the 150th anniversary of the Canterbury Settlement. Christchurch City Libraries, 2000, Christchurch, NZ.

AN OLD LAND MARK., Press, Volume LXII, Issue 12198, 19 May 1905 Zealand/2004-11/1100803562

Dallington Bridge entry from (site no longer active)

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John Dudley and Broome Farm

First Names:John
Last Name:Dudley
Place of Birth:Staffordshire, England