HomeMuseum Detail

Hurworth Cottage

Account profile image
Hurworth was a settlement established near New Plymouth in the 1850s. Of the six houses in the settlement four were destroyed in the New Zealand Wars and another lost to fire.

Harry Atkinson, having learned from a sawyer, cut the wood for it himself and by 1857 the house was finished in its original form. The outbreak of the Taranaki War in March 1860 threatened the idyllic lifestyle at Hurworth, with Harry sending wife, Jane and their children to safety in Wanganui after burying their valuables. Harry joined the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers and fought in many battles around the province over the next few years, rising to the rank of Major with the Forest Rangers.

He had become involved in politics, and in 1861 he became the member in the House of Representatives for his local Grey and Bell constituency. His political career rose to greater heights, and he held a number of provincial positions including MP for New Plymouth and Superintendent of Taranaki, and served as Minister of Defence, Minister of Crown Lands and Immigration, and Colonial Treasurer. In 1876 he became Premier of New Zealand, an office which he held hold four times between then and 1891.

Atkinson was away from Hurworth for much of his political life, with the house considerably changed and enlarged before his death in 1892 when the property was sold.

Hurworth is typical of early settlers’ dwellings in its simplicity – rectangular in shape, clad in vertical board and batten with a pitched roof and French doors opening onto a four-sided veranda.

The cottage was donated to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga) in 1967 and restored to its original specifications. It was during this time graffiti from the New Zealand Wars was uncovered which continues to fascinate visitors today.

Collection Type
Historic Site

Contact Details
Postal address iconPO Box 905, New Plymouth
Telephone number icon64-6-759 2006
Web address iconhttp://www.heritage.org.nz/places/places-to-visit/taranaki/hurworth
Email address iconhurworth@heritage.org.nz

Visitor Information
Physical address icon906 Carrington Road, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Hours of operation iconSaturday and Sunday 11am - 3pm
Charges iconAdults: $10 Accompanied children: Free Unaccompanied children: $3.50. Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.

Guided Tour
Museum/tourist brochures, small range of merchandise


Search Collection

Explore Collection

Entire Collection -View all (37)
Archives -View all (21)
Letter [Harry Atkinson to Edmund Tudor Atkinson]; Harry Atkinson (1831-1892); 20 Jan 1887; XHC.185Pamphlet; Circa 1890s; XHC.265Book; 'New Zealand Ferns'; Emily Harris (1836/1837?-1925), H D Jackson; Circa 1890; XHC.248Letter [From Alice Atkinson to William and Emily Richmond]; Alice Lucy Atkinson (1876-1928); 08 Jan 1857; XHC.186Book, 'New Zealand Berries'; Emily Harris (1836/1837?-1925), H D Jackson; Circa 1890; XHC.249
History -View all (11)
Bookmark; Ann Harrison; 12 Jan 1832; XHC.15Human hair samples; Aug 1862; XHC.189.2Hip flask; 19th Century; XHC.178Armchair; Post 1878; XHC.219Davenport desk; 19th Century; XHC.18
Photography and Multimedia -View all (4)
Photograph, 'Hurworth'; Berry and McAlister (estab. 1890s); 1894; XHC.257Photograph [Nelson]; 1887-1897; XHC.258Photograph, Untitled [Sir Harry Atkinson]; Circa 1860-1892; XHC.42Photograph, Untitled [Two men riding horses]; XHC.259

Explore By Object Tags