Location 241
Location #241. The Old Kawarau Gorge Schoolhouse.
Map 11

Jocelyn Road


Birnies Gully


Location #241. The Old Kawarau Gorge Schoolhouse. Jocelyn Road, Birnies Gully.

Still Standing


Construction Details

Timber framed with corrugated iton cladding and pug. Part of the building was moved from the Kawarau Gorge in sections on a sledge. Old school house. It consisted of two bedrooms, a sitting room, and a kitchen.

Location Type


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Interested Parties

The table below shows the groups of people that had an interest in this property, either as owners, residents, tenants or shareholders. Clicking on the 'Details' link will display a list of the individuals in the group along with any known historical information about them.

Group Date Description
1 1911 - 1918 ? Robert Toms Details
2 1915 - c1918 James Breen Details
3 1918 - 1938 William Hodson Details
4 c1930 Thomas Lawrence Details
5 1938 - c1949 John David Parsons Details
6 c1949 - c1954 David Kain Details
7 c1954 - c1964 Stan Riach Details
8 c1964 - c1970 Murray Rivers Details
9 c1970 - 2008 Maurice Desmond Turner Details


The table below shows any historical notes about the location.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
2706 1877 General Notes on the schoolhouse. The Kawarau Gorge school was opened and Miss Jane Goulding was appointed as a teacher. Her salary was £125 (one hundred and twenty five pounds) per year. She taught for about six years at which time the school roll had risen to 35 pupils.
2707 c1890 Miss Annie Cousins was the teacher. Miss Annie Cousins was the teacher.
2708 1895 Miss Selena Pretsch was the teacher. Miss Selena Pretsch was appointed as teacher and lived in the school house with her younger sister Kitty who was a pupil in standard 4.
2709 1898 The school was closed. The school roll had dropped to eight pupils and on the recommendation of the inspectors it was closed. The pupils continued their schooling in either Bannockburn or Cromwell. It is not known what happened to the school after it was closed.
2710 1911 Mr Robert Toms purchased the old school house. Mr Robert Toms of Bannockburn purchased the old school house and moved it in sections on a sledge to Bannockburn where it became part of dwelling #241. This part consisted of two bedrooms a sitting room and a kitchen.
2720 1911 Robert Toms applied for a parcel of land Robert Toms applied for a parcel of land as part of the subdivision of Kawarau Station. this included 47 acres around where dwelling #241 is situated. The original part of dwelling #241 started out as a schoolhouse from the Kawarau Gorge, consisting of two bedrooms, a sitting room and a kitchen. Mr Toms purchased the building and cut it into sections which were then transported by sledge to Bannockburn and reassembled.
2721 c1911 Mr Toms planted the orchard. About this time Mr Toms may have planted the orchard near dwelling #241. The orchard included : almonds, walnuts, nectarines, peaches, apples, apricots and plums.
2723 c1915 Mr Toms either sold or leased dwelling #241. It appears that about this time Mr Toms either sold dwelling #241 (with the orchard) or leased it out.
2724 c1915 James Breen may have been living in the dwelling at this time. Vincent Parcell (dwelling #244) recalls a Mr Breen living in dwelling #241 about this time. Stones directory lists Mr Jas Breen as an orchardist in Bannockburn until 1918+ ( not 1920)
2730 c1920 William Hodson purchased dwelling #241, On his return from the Great War, Mr William Hodson purchased dwelling #241 from Robert Toms (or possibly James Breen)
2733 c1930s Mr & Mrs Tom Lawrence lived with the Hodsons for a period of time. Mr & Mrs Tom Lawrence moved from dwelling #106 to dwelling #241. The couple lived there with Mr & Mrs W J S Hodson for some months while Tom Lawrence continued to work in the Bell-Hopper gold mine on the Kawarau River, Scotlands Point, below Pearson Road.
2735 1938 John David Parsons purchased dwelling #241 from Mr W J S Hodson. Mr John David Parsons married Ngaio Ritchie and they moved from dwelling #65 where they lived with his parents. He purchased dwelling #241 from Mr W J S Hodson.
2736 c1949 Mr David Kain purchased dwelling #241 from John Parsons. About this time, Mr David Kain purchased dwelling #241 from John David Parsons. Mr & Mrs Kain had moved to Bannockburn from the Nevis valley. David Kain and his brother ran the Ben Nevis Station.
2738 c1954 Mr Stan Riack purchased dwelling #241 from David Kain About this time Mr Stan Riach came from Mosgeil to Bannockburn and purchased dwelling #241. He lived there with his son John. He moved on to Gibbston Flat around 1964.
2739 c1964 Murray Rivers purchased the property from Stan Riach. About this time, Mr Cuthbert John Rivers (Bannockburn head school teacher 1940 - 1944) purchased dwelling #241 from Mr J Riach. The purchase was made for hos son, Mr Murray Rivers. It is unclear whether the Murray Rivers family ever lived in the house (see dwelling #207). The Rivers family had come to Bannockburn from Kaitangita.
2740 c1970 Mr Maurice Desmond Turner purchased the property from Murray Rivers. About this time, Mr Maurice Desmond Turner purchased dwelling #241 from Murray Rivers. Mr Rivers in turn purchased dwelling #207 from Mr D A Cameron.


The table below shows a list of images related to the location. Click on 'View Image' to display more details about the image, and to view the image.

Image Id Source Date Short Description
1041 Paul Crump - Bannockburn 2004 Dwelling #241 - Birnie's Gully, looking south. View Image
1399 Mrs M Valk - Cromwell c1938 Lawrence and Hodson families View Image
2416 Paul Crump - Bannockburn c1902-1943 Secondary access drive into Shepherds Creek coal mine View Image