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Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 1, Issue 1, October 1981


page 43

Red-bricked and derelict, the Redwood Stables stand next to Highway 60, fourteen miles west of Nelson. They are half a mile from the Waimea River bridge, at the base of the coastal foothills. Most motorists speed by with scarcely a glance, and the vibration from each passing truck brings their demise a little nearer.

Henry Redwood, pioneer settler of the district, and widely known as Father of the New Zealand Turf, built his home, Hednesford, about 1849 and fifty yards away his racing stables. A small part of the original house is still there, owned and occupied by Mr and Mrs Paddy O'Connor. In the far distance among the trees can be seen the dormer windows and steep sloping roof of Stafford Place, the second built on the site, original home of the Redwood family.

That part of the L shaped stables parallel to the road is a two-storey brick building, about 165 feet long, with eight stalls for horses, feeding troughs and a corridor for stable hands. The upper floor is storage for grain, fodder and harness, but at the eastern end is a loft in good repair, living quarters for stable boys. The remains of an outside wooden stairway lies rotting in the grass, but inside leading to the loft, is a perpendicular, ship's type ladder, firm and intact. The whole building, with patterned brick arches over windows and doorways is in reasonable repair and still attractive.

The smaller part of the L, with its brick and partly cobbled floor, was once a carriage house, and perhaps part dairy. It is in poor shape now, having suffered in the 1929 earthquake, since when deterioration has been rapid.