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Ngaio Marsh House to close from 26 April to 18 June for critical renovations

Caring for a precious heritage listed 116-year-old Arts and Crafts bungalow by noted architect Samuel Hurst Seager continues to require significant funding, planning and renovation work.

As part of the Trust’s commitment to maintain Dame Ngaio’s wonderful home, the Ngaio Marsh House and Heritage Trust has raised $61,000 for critical renovations. These renovations will upgrade the weathertightness of this special Category 1 listed historic place.

This means the House will be closed to the public and no tours will take place between 26 April and 18 June. We are continuing to take bookings before 26 April and after 18 June.

This project is being led by members of our volunteer team, Trustee David Chambers and Property Manager Craig Sargison, working with our contractor Bruce McBride from Build McBride Ltd.

What is being restored?

Key repairs include:

• Removal and restoration of the original box bay window in the dining room and the kitchen window, and repair of a second window in the dining room, reusing hardware and viable timber. All of these windows are rotten and warped.

• Reconstruction of leaking internal guttering and the polycarbonate roof in the laundry area (not open to public).

• Repair of rotten wood around the front door.

• Repairs to the exterior fabric of the garage including making and installing new replica front doors using the original hardware.

David Chambers says: ‘This is a vital project for the preservation of Dame Ngaio’s home and her precious and fragile collections. This is a huge undertaking for our small Trust, and we are grateful to all of our funders and to our builders for their support.

‘We are taking great care to retain as much as possible of the original fabric and have obtained the support of the Christchurch City Council heritage team. Everything we are doing is like for like and we are reusing as much of the timber that can be salvaged.”

Thank you to our supporters

We’d like to say a huge thanks to our funders, Stout Trust, Pub Charity, and Air Rescue & Community Services. Without their support, this work would not be going ahead and we would sadly see further degradation of the property.

Fundraising for future works – we need your help

This is part of the Trust’s ongoing restoration and revitalisation programme of Dame Ngaio’s home which has included some landscaping restoration by the National Services Te Paerangi Te Papa Museum Hardship Fund, local stonemasonry firm Stoneworks, and the Mainlaind Foundation.

There remains a lot of essential work to be done if we are to maintain this nationally and internationally recognised cultural taonga for future generations, including:

  • Earthworks and lighting to improve public access.

  • Restoration of the carpet in Dame Ngaio’s bedroom.

  • Interior and exterior repainting.

  • Conservation of original fabrics, furniture, art, photographs, clothing and books, all of which are an important part of New Zealand’s cultural legacy.

Please helps us preserve this previous place and keep Dame Ngaio’s legacy alive.


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