This site was owned by Michael (sic) Tharco in 1875. Subsequent owners: John Hector Robertson – 1889 Davies Davies – 1890 William Toms – 1900 James Renshaw – 1924 and occupied as a private dwelling In 1948 the building was used as … Continued

The Second Cromwell School Building

By December 1870 the original school roll had reached 42 and the one room classroom could no longer accommodate the children so plans for a new school were prepared. However due to funding cuts, it was not until the end of … Continued

Athenaeum Hall

In March 1874 the tender was let for the construction of this building and it was officially opened in December that year. The Athenaeum Trust was established in 1875 and a small reading room and library was added. This was … Continued

Cromwell Post & Telegraph Office

The site for the Post Office was gazetted in 1869 and a small wooden hut erected. A move to build a more substantial building was made in February 1871 when a contract was let to John Taylor. An application was … Continued

Wisharts Blacksmith and Motor Garage

Wisharts Smithy is one of two buildings in the precinct on its original site. Robert Wishart came from Aberdeen to Cromwell in 1869 where he settled and took up employment with Edward Lindsay, the local blacksmith. Robert was 17 when … Continued

The Tent house

In the 1860s public tent sites were available in most gold mining towns. These were narrow strips of land on which miners could pitch a tent when visiting the town to cash up their gold or replenish their supplies, often … Continued

The Globe Hotel

The Globe Hotel was established in 1880 by D Murley and it operated until 1909 when the licence was cancelled. The building later became Mrs Hosking’s boarding house for a number of years. By the 1920s it was in the hands … Continued

Scott’s Bakery

James L Scott was born in Kincardineshire, Scotland and was brought up there and in London and trained as a baker. He came to the goldfields of Victoria, Australia in 1855 and from there to Cromwell in 1863. He took … Continued

D A Jolly & Sons

David Anderson Jolly was born in Arbroath, Scotland in 1842 and came to Dunedin as a seaman on the ship “Aboukir“ in 1862. He joined the gold rush and was one of the first miners at Quartz Reef Point. He … Continued

Cromwell Free Trade Butchery (Captain Barry’s)

Butchery in Cromwell has had a changing history. In early 1863 the town had only one butcher whom the public had long complained charged excessive prices – that was until the arrival of Captain Jackson Barry in February 1863 from Sydney. … Continued

Cromwell Argus

The Cromwell Argus was one of two newspapers available in Cromwell in November 1869 – the other, the Cromwell Guardian, lasted only three and a half months. George Fenwick and William Matthews, having just sold the Tuapeka Press in Lawrence, … Continued


This business was established in 1868 by Bendix Hallenstein a storekeeper in Queenstown who opened a branch in Cromwell. He appointed W Arnott as manager and James Kerin as the book keeper. In 1886 James Kerin purchased the business and … Continued

Murrell’s Cottage

Murrell’s Cottage is one of two buildings on its original site in the historic precinct. Built of local “schist” rock it was an addition to a corrugated iron house, which stands at the front of this building. The stone cottage … Continued

Behrens Barn

Max Henry Behrens was born in Germany in 1828. After learning the business of coach building in his homeland, he immigrated to Victoria, Australia. He worked in the Australian gold fields until 1862 and then came to the new gold … Continued

Cobb & Co Storeroom

Built in 1866 from local “schist” stone this building was used as a storeroom for the safekeeping of goods by Cobb and Co, an Australian coaching company which came to New Zealand at the beginning of the gold rush era. … Continued

Lowburn Cottage

This building was not originally from the main street of Cromwell, but the Board decided it would be appropriate to have a mud-brick cottage in the precinct that was reminiscent of those from the Lowburn and Bannockburn areas that had been built in the latter … Continued

McNulty House

The house was built between 1868 and 1875 for John Marsh, Helen Clark’s great-great grandfather on her father’s side. It is thought that the house was built by either his sonin- law William Gair or James Ritchie, both stonemasons in … Continued

London Stables

The stables were originally situated behind London House in the old main street and were reached by a lane down the side of the shop and were probably Livery Stables for people visiting the town. In the late 1800s, apart … Continued

Belfast Store

This store was opened in 1878 by Sherwood and Wright and by 1885 it was trading as Sherwood & Co Wine, Spirit and Provision Merchants. In 1888 it was trading as Robert Henry & Co, followed in 1895 by owner William T Talboys. By 1925, … Continued