Highwic: Historic House in Auckland

Last day in Auckland! I have had an amazing trip, though I am looking forward to getting back to Christchurch so I can really get to work on all the good stuff from the Joanna Penn seminar.

I got up to a lot in Auckland. I’m going to be sharing my adventures in later blog posts, but I’m starting with the first of two historic houses we visited in Auckland: Highwic.

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Highwic is a Gothic mansion, that started as a Carpenter Gothic cottage from a mail-order catalogue, that was expanded to meet the needs of the growing Buckland family. Considering that the Buckland family grew to include 21 children, you can see why they’d need a mansion!

What’s really cool about Highwic is that the same family lived in it over three generations, and the last family members to occupy it moved out in the seventies. This means that a lot of the original furniture and decorations remained. It was really easy to look at the rooms and imagine how they would be used.

Alfred Buckland had two wives, and so his numerous children were spread out, with the eldest of his daughters marrying and moving out as the younger were born, so there were never twenty-one kids home at the same time. Nonetheless, housing so many kids was hard work. The solution: a boy’s dormitory in the attic.

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At one time, seven of Buckland’s sons shared this room. It was the attic above the ballroom, and hot in summer, cold in winter–in short, character building.  The eldest son living at home got his own room with a door, bridge and a small window so that he could look in on his brothers and make sure they were behaving.

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It reminds me of the one term I was at boarding school. The thing is, you could go home from boarding school. This was home.

 

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