Topic: Mount Magdala Farm Buildings

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The now demolished former Mount Magdala farm buildings were originally part of the Mount Magdala Community run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Halswell from 1888 to 1966.

The former Mount Magdala farm buildings were originally part of the Mount Magdala Community run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Halswell from 1888 to 1966.

 It is possible that they were designed by the architect F. W. Petrie.    

The buildings, which  included a granary, stables, piggery and cow byres, implement sheds, blacksmiths and laundry and the farm, helped support a self-contained community, part of the international movement of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, which aimed to protect and rehabilitate disadvantaged women, orphans and the elderly. .

The community operated until 1966 when the site was taken over by the St John of God brothers who continue to operate disabilty support services  there.

Part of the site was sold for residential development in the 2000s and despite considerable protest from the Halswell Residents’ Association, Christchurch City Council and the Historic Places Trust among others, the buildings were permitted  to be demolished, subject to a number of conditions of “appropriate recording:”.

The city council commissioned a report by a conservation architect and council staff recommended that the application for demolition be declined. 

The buildings were described by the HPT as a “ ...rare collection of Institutional Victorian farm buildings...”  and by architect Ian Athfield as being “... rich in character and should give a very strong basis for development of the larger site.” Letter to The Press, 14 September, 2007, p. A8

Despite all these efforts the complex was demolished in 2009.

Source:

Margetts, Dave. "Former Mt Magdala Buildings, Aidanfield".   Heritage matters, NZHPT Canterbury Westland newsletter, no. 138, Autumn 2008,  p.1.

 

 

 

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