Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Randell Cottage Open Day Wraps Up Spring Festival

Randell Cottage Open Day Wraps Up Spring Festival

One of Wellington’s ten oldest colonial buildings opens its doors to the public on Sunday, 4 October. Randell Cottage, at 14 St Mary Street, Thorndon, was built in 1867 by English migrant William Randell as a home for himself, his wife Sarah and their children.

Built in classic settler style, the cottage originally comprised two simple wooden sheds gabled at each end, set side by side so that the long inner wall was common to both. In this simple four-roomed home the family grew until there were nine children. In about 1874 William added a third ‘shed’ to form two extra bedrooms. When the tenth child was born in 1877, the six-room cottage was larger than most of Wellington’s houses.

Today the Cottage is a writers residence, providing a Wellington home away from home to writers from New Zealand and France. Recent residents have included Denis Welch, Tina Makereti, Pat White, and most recently the novelist, playwright and essayist Witi Ihimaera who was jointly awarded the 2015 New Zealand residency with Owen Marshall.

The residency was made possible by an act of extraordinary generosity on the part of one of William Randell’s direct descendants, the children’s writer Beverley Randell, who in 1994 with her husband, publisher Hugh Price and daughter, historian Susan Price, bought the cottage at auction, painstakingly restored it and gifted it to the Randell Cottage Writers Trust.

“Open Day is an opportunity to say thank you to Wellington for the support the Cottage receives from the Wellington City Council. It’s a chance to hear the Cottage’s history and to marvel at the changes in living conditions and ideas of personal space that have taken place over the past 150 years,” says trustee Sian Robyns.

The Cottage, writers shed and garden will be open from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is free but koha is appreciated.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press.

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland