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New life for re-opened Grubb Cottage

Monday 19 August 2013

New life for re-opened Grubb Cottage

Historic and unique, Lyttelton’s Grubb Cottage of 62 London Street welcomes people to view a snapshot of life 150 years ago.

Strengthening work carried out on Grubb Cottage prior to the Canterbury earthquakes was instrumental in getting the building to 86 per cent of the New Building Standards. As a result, though there is still some work to do on the cottage to stabilise the fireplace, the building can be used and in a double win, Grubb Cottage is also now able to be visited by the public.

The cottage sustained a small amount of earthquake damage, mostly confined to cracking and separation of the exterior weatherboards, some settlement of the floor and loosening of a number of bricks from the internal fireplace. However, by blocking off access to the room that contains the fireplace, the Council was able to give the go-ahead for the cottage to re-open.

The Grubb Cottage Trustees have been working to get the building’s designated use changed. Permission was granted by the Council in July 2013 for Grubb Cottage to have public access (previously it was residential only), so this allows it to be used as a museum and public building.

The Trust will initially be opening the cottage on Saturday mornings from 10am until noon for people to view this historic treasure. The first public opening is this Saturday 24 August 2013.

Terry Howes, Acting General Manager City Environment Group, says Grubb Cottage is of considerable historical significance. “It’s great that we still have this building because so many have gone. Grubb Cottage represents a true snapshot of early European life in Canterbury and was built soon after organised European settlement by the Canterbury Association and the arrival of the first four ships. It is now one of the earliest surviving domestic buildings left in Canterbury.”

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Grubb Cottage was owned by prominent early Lyttelton settler John Grubb and his family for more than 100 years. Grubb made a significant contribution to early Lyttelton society such as helping to build the first jetty in Lyttelton which welcomed passengers from the First Four Ships in 1850. Later on his son became Mayor of Lyttelton.

Grubb Cottage is one of the Council’s Top 30 projects prioritised for investigation and where possible repair under its Facilities Rebuild Plan project. For information on the Top 30 Facilities visit www.futurechristchurch.co.nz. For information on the Facilities Rebuild Project visit www.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/councilfacilities/index.aspx .

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