Woodland House

Maker and role
attr Maker: Sarah Greenwood (b.1809, d.1899)
Production date
05 Jul 1868
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Object Detail

B&W watercolour painting on paper, ochre window mount, no backing. House with bridge in foreground.
Object type
Media/materials description
Media and materials
Composition = 172 h x 248 w
0 - Whole = Height x Width (mm) = 172 x 248mm
Houses Motueka
Subject category
Accession number
AC number
Credit line
Sarah Greenwood (1809 -1899). Woodland House, 5 July 1868. Watercolour. Nelson Provincial Museum Collection: A4133.11

Collection type




A two-storeyed brick residence built in 1845 on Section 340, Bridge Street, by the Maitai River and next to a footbridge (today the site of the Bridge Street Bridge), "Woodland House" served as both home for the Greenwood family and a private school for girls - both day pupils and boarders - which was run by Sarah Greenwood and her daughters ca. 1866 - 1872, while her husband Dr Danforth Greenwood was occupied at Parliament in Wellington. The name "Woodland House" was a nod to the Greenwoods' former well-known home in Motueka, called "Woodlands". "Woodland House" was leased from Hugh Martin, a substantial local landowner who in the early 1850s established "The Hayes" estate in Stoke, originally a 50 acre block which had expanded to 270 acres by the time of Martin's death in 1892. The Bridge Street house had been his first home in Nelson after arriving with his family on the ship "Himalaya" in 1844. His daughter Alice Martin became a "Woodland House" pupil, and an already cordial relationship between the Greenwood and Martin families was further cemented when two Greenwood sons, Frederick and Graham, married respectively Clara and Isobel, two of the Martin daughters. Sarah gradually lost her assistant daughters to Wellington - three set up a school of their own in that city and were followed by various sisters who had married Wellingtonians, thanks to their father's connections. The Nelson school was closed and Danforth & Sarah Greenwood retired to "The Grange", their son Fred's home on the outskirts of Motueka. "Woodland House" was passed on to a Greenwood friend, dentist Henry Freer Rawson, and for a short time it became his dental surgery. Rawson took the eldest Greenwood son, John, into his practice as a trainee dentist, and when later situated at a surgery in Hardy Street the two achieved notoriety by accidentally burning down the building and pretty near the whole block after an experiment with a volatile mixture in their surgery went spectacularly awry - fortunately no one was hurt!

- Anne McFadgen

Posted on 08-12-2019 01:42:16