Replica sod cottage; Arthur White; 1980


Replica sod cottage

About this object

Howick had many sod or turf cottages as the first semi-permament accomodations after tents on Fencible farm allotments. Unlike the other Fencible settlements of Onehunga, Otahuhu and Panmure which were built on free draining volcanic soil clay was readily available in Howick.

A sod or turf block was cut measuring 8" (200mm) wide x 4" (100mm) deep x 10" (252mm) long. Ideally cut from soil with closely grown grass. The sod was placed turf side down and the wall tapered from a 3' (900mm) base to 8" (200mm) wide top. The roof constructed from kahikitea rafters and nikau palm fronds.

Wood and glass windows were added, if available. Our replica has a six paned window sourced from Bridget and John Goonan's 1854 sod cottage constructed at Bleakhouse Road, Mellons Bay.

The chimney is built from slab cut wood lined with sod's for fire protection.


Arthur White

Maker Role



Alan La Roche

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made

Howick, Auckland

Place Notes

Replica made for the Howick Historical Village

Medium and Materials

Clay, grass, kahikatea and nikau

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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