History of Cheviot
Cheviot was put on the map in the mid-1800s when Cheviot Hills estate was established by William "Ready Money" Robinson. His run stretched from the Hurunui River to the Waiau River, out to the Pacific coast and to the Lowry Hills in the west - a total of 33,600 hectares. In 1893, the Government bought Cheviot Hills and divided the estate into smaller ballot farms to break the hold large run owners had on the fledging nation's rural land.
While Robinson's 'mansion house' burned down in 1936, the foundations and magnificent grounds are part of the Cheviot Hills Domain, with the mansion's original front steps now supporting a small cricket pavilion. The manager's house, built in 1865, and the estate’s original bell tower are now in private residence.
Cheviot remains a thriving agricultural district with sheep and beef farming the prevalent land use, alongside deer and arable cropping.
The Hurunui River Mouth and St Anne's Lagoon were important food sources for the pre-European Maori who travelled along the east coast between Kaikoura and Kaiapoi.
The mudstone cliffs of Gore Bay and Port Robinson are a treasure trove for fossil hunters.
A very well appointed museum explores the fascinating social history that saw Cheviot evolve from a pastoral run to a thriving rural community.
Opening hours: September – May, Saturday 10am – 12am, Sunday 2pm - 4pm, or by arrangement.
Kingdom to County, John Wilson, ISBN 047310321-5
Ready Money, a biography of William Robinson, Margaret Wigley, ISBN 1-87725742-7
The Story of Cheviot, Douglas Cresswell, Pegasus Press 1951
A Pastoral Kingdom Divided, Cheviot 1889-94, WJ Gardener, ISBN 0-90891234 X
Hurunui Heritage, Margaret Lovell-Smith, ISBN 0-473-07135-5
Sheep and Shearers over the Greater Cheviot Area 1850-2000, Irvine Wilkinson, Rangiora Printing Services Ltd, 2004
Jed Cemetery, Gore Bay. The walking route is signposted from the north end of the Jed Lagoon.
Homeview Cemetery. North of Cheviot on SH 1.
Saturday 10am to 12 midday
Sunday 2pm to 4pm
Outside these hours please contact any of the following to arrange a viewing:
- Phyll Johnson 03 3198 741
- Pat Robinson 03 3198 038
- Clare Harris 03 319 8367
- Ross King 03 3198 588
- Lorraine Hansen (weekends only) 03 3198 668.
Hall Street, Cheviot