Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 1, Issue 3, November 1983
Bankhouse Run No. 9 (Run 15, 1849)
Bankhouse Run No. 9 (Run 15, 1849).
This is one of the larger runs of easy country in the Wairau and lay in the fork of the Wairau and Waihopai Rivers. Originally the western boundry on the Wairau side was the Marchburn Stream to its source thence by a gully opposite that source known as Boundary Creek and down that gully to the Waihopai River above the present Waihopai Hydro Dam. Its area was nearly 27,000 acres.
In March 1848 Dr David Monro, with the aid of five men and with two horses to carry baggage, drove his flock of 1,000 sheep from the Nelson area via Tophouse and down the Wairau to the above run.
Dr. (later Sir) David Monro (1813–1877) was born in Edinburgh, son of Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh where David obtained his degree of M.D. He bought land scrip in England in the New Zealand Company's settlement in 1841 and sailed for Australia to visit his brother Harry who had a sheep station in Victoria. In early January 1842 he left by the schooner Ariel a coastal trader calling at several places between Auckland and Nelson, where he arrived in March 1842. He built a timber cottage on his town acre section facing Trafalgar Square. In 1843 he was allocated his 50 acres at Waimea West. This was increased to nearly 200 acres over the next few years and named "Bearcroft". In 1845 he married Dinah Secker (1818–1882) at the little church of St. Michael, Waimea West.
Section 1 of XII was crown granted to him in 1852 and other sections were purchased over the next twenty years without much trouble from outsiders trying to freefold sections out of the run.
Towards the end of 1868 or early 1869 Alexander Binning Monro of Valleyfield took over the management of Bankhouse for a time. It is reported that an illicit still was discovered in the manuka scrub and finally the ex-manager was charged and convicted. Such stills were not uncommon at the time.
About 1870 Monro's eldest son, Alexander (1846–1905) took over the management of Bankhouse which he inherited on the death of his father in 1877. Alexander died in 1905 and the run was carried on by trustees and executors namely his widow, Frances Caroline nee Severn and Richard Corbett of Leefield, station manager. The widow as executrix was to manage the realty and to receive £400 a year; the residue to go towards education and maintenance of the children. The Bankhouse property was then to go to the two eldest sons as tenants in common and the rest of the estate to the other children with a clause to equalise the amounts. Despite this, in 1915, Bankhouse was cut into three parcels of land; the homestead block went to Herbert Yelverton Monro, the Marchburn block to Philip Charles Monro and owing to the early death of Henry Alexander Monro in 1916, the Craiglochart block was transfered to his widow, Edith Sylvia Monro.
The Bankhouse run which included the Homestead was of nearly 11,000 acres, but with various sales and exchanges is now of about 10,000 acres and is one of the highest valued single properties in the district, H. J. Monro married Maude Clouston and had one son and two daughters. During his time the merino flock of sheep was upgraded with the establishment of a Merino Stud No. 62 and was well thought of during the 1920's and 30's, but was discontinued in recent times. In 1947 his son, Alexander started taking over the management of Bankhouse.
The Marchburn area of 8081 acres was taken over by Philip Charles Monro in 1915 and in 1930 was transfered to Lewis Henry Clouston for a few page 26months before being transfered to Alexander Monro, son of H. Y. Monro. For the next 30 years it was run in conjunction with Bankhouse before being transferred to John Henry Barrington Shield whose wife was a daughter of H. Y. Monro. A few years later it was turned into a farming company.
The Craiglochart area of Bankhouse, 7605 acres, was transferred by trustrees to Edith Sylvia Monro, widow of Henry Alexander Monro, at the beginning of 1917. The following year she married Thorston Frederick Kelling of Blenheim, Solicitor. In April, 1923 Craiglockhart was transferred from Mrs E. S. Kelling to Cuthbert Oliver Tate Rutherford of Hawarden, Canterbury. In 1947 the Crown took over Craiglockhart for the re-settlement of three returned servicemen who took up their respective farms in 1950. They were Henry Lumsden Tancred, Louis Arthur Laugesen on the Homestead area and Arnold Arthur Marfell.