Highwic celebrates 150th anniversary

Last updated 05:00 06/07/2012

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Hidden up a long driveway in the heart of Newmarket is a 150-year-old house that was once home to a prominent Auckland landowner and his 21 children. Photographer Jason Oxenham and reporter Amy McGillivray explored Highwic house to find out just what it has to offer.

Highwic was built for Alfred Buckland in 1862 and extended in 1873.

The house sits on 1.2 hectares of land and is surrounded by an orchard, a rose garden, a fernery and rockeries.

It is now owned by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and Auckland Council and is set up as a museum to allow visitors to stroll through and see what it might have looked like in its heyday.

Year-long celebrations are planned to mark the 150th anniversary of the historic dwelling.

You can have high tea at the house, appreciate fine music and art, see a collection of Victorian costumes or appreciate the fine floral arrangements as part of the Festival of Flowers.

Mr Buckland and his first wife Eliza arrived in New Zealand in 1850. They had 10 children before Mrs Buckland died of pneumonia in 1866 at the age of 41.

The next year Mr Buckland married Matilda Frodsham, who had been his wife's live-in companion and home help.

The second Mrs Buckland went on to have 11 children of her own.

Descendants of Mr Buckland lived in the house until 1978, meaning his family occupied the house for 116 years.

The next Highwic event is a concert called 150 Years Around the Piano. It will be held on July 14 and 15.

Musician and teacher Cathie Harrop and actress Ilona Rodgers will present stories and music relevant to the years the Buckland family lived at Highwic.

Go to highwic.co.nz for more information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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