Historic pioneer’s farm on the market for the first time in 174 years
One of the oldest farms in New Zealand – continually owned by members of the same family for 174 years and featuring a majestic historic homestead – has been placed on the market for sale
Glenralloch farm on Banks Peninsula in Canterbury traces its roots back to pioneer settler Ebenezer Hay who bought the land seven years before Canterbury was even declared a province, and seven years before the New Zealand Company brought out the first ‘large scale’ migration of colonialists from England.
Glenralloch is believed to be named after the cottage Ebenezer Hay was born in, located in the remote and windswept Scottish county of Argyllshire. Ebenezer began farming the Canterbury land with 10 head of cattle.
The original Hay family homestead on the property was flattened by a landslide in 1886, so the hardy clan moved into a homestead nearby, before having the majestic Glenralloch Manor built in 1912.
More than a century later, the immaculately maintained Glenralloch Manor still sprawls over 712 square metres – featuring six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen with butler’s pantry, large entrance foyer, multiple rooms for entertaining, and even a ‘boot’ room for boots and coats. Recent renovations to the home provide all modern conveniences while maintaining its character and elegance.
The 500-hectare sheep and beef finishing farm at Pigeon Bay Road is now being marketed for sale by deadline, with offers being take until 4pm on November 9 through Bayleys Canterbury. Salesperson Ben Turner said the property consisted of two blocks – Glenralloch consisting of 274 hectares, and the neighbouring Manuka Bay block consisting of 226 hectares.
“The farm was among the first pieces of land ‘broken in’ by settlers coming to New Zealand,” Mr Turner said.
“Family folk lore passed down from generation to generation recalls the days in the run-up to Christmas 1850 when Ebenezer Hay was de-horning cattle on the headland of the farm – from where he watched in absolute amazement as the Charlotte Jane, The Randolph and Cressy sailed past en-route to Lyttleton Harbour after their arduous journeys from the UK.
“The story has it that Ebenezer brought up the subject at the family dinner table that night, that there might be a few more farmers on the Peninsula over the coming summer months.”
Buildings and farm infrastructure on the Glenralloch/Manuka Bay properties include:
• A large three-stand woolshed with concrete yards and a covered race
• New steel and timber cattle yards
• A hay shed/implement shed
• Stables with the original straw and hay storage loft
• A bulldozer shed
• A separate tractor shed
Additional accommodation on the property includes a recently renovated three-bedroom farm worker’s dwelling. Mr Turner said Glenralloch and Manuka Bay blocks in their current format were used for finishing both sheep and cattle.
Mr Turner said the two farms had been carrying high stock numbers previously, but the farm’s owners had been winding back their operations over the past few years in preparation for the upcoming sale of the property.
He said the two blocks were subdivided into a total of 62 paddocks and had history of generous fertiliser application over the years onto the clover pastures.
“Each generation of the Hay family has consistently improved and developed both the land and the infrastructure to a point where the property would be amongst the top land-holding offerings in the Canterbury region,” Mr Turner said.
“Ebenezer Hay certainly knew how to pick a prime spot. The Manuka Bay block has its own private swimming beach accessible via extensive farm tracks and is the perfect spot for the addition of a private retreat.”