McRae's Farm Buildings - doing the hard yards
Driving alongside Nenthorn Road passersby will see stacked stone stockyards beside a stone woolshed. Over the years the woolshed and yards have suffered from lack of maintenance - the woolshed was losing its roof and the yards collapsing in places. Duncan and Georgie McGregor, the new owners of this farmstead, have stepped in to save the building and yards with the support of a $30,000 grant from Waitaki Heritage Fund.
To save the woolshed, the roof and spouting are being repaired and the stonework repointed. Stonemason Stephen Kilroy is also rebuilding the yards where they have collapsed or are unstable. This heritage fund grant goes some way to recognize the district’s significant rural architectural heritage.
Likely built for Moonlight Flat farmer Duncan McRae (or McCrae), these structures are likely to date from the 1870s. At this time land was subdivided from the big pastoral stations enabling small farms to be established under the deferred payment system. In this largely treeless area, stone was the vernacular building material. The architectural remnants of these farms are still evident in the Macraes landscape, often standing in a ruined state reflecting the changing nature of farming in the district.