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Historic places

Historic places

The two most historic places in Thorndon are the Katherine Mansfield House along with The Thistle Inn. The Thistle Inn is the second oldest pub in New Zealand. It was built in 1840 and was rebuilt in 1866 due to a fire. The Thistle Inn also features in one of Katherine Mansfield’s books called Leves Amore written in 1907 when Katherine was in her late teens. The Thistle Inn was originally on the shoreline but was moved back a couple of blocks due to the 1855 earthquake. It is our local pub and many of our school's teachers and probably some politicians visit there frequently.
Katherine Mansfield House is the birthplace and the childhood home of Katherine Mansfield located on 25 Tinakori Road. Katherine Mansfield is New Zealand's most famous author and is world renowned for her short stories. The birth place is open to public as it has been restored and furnished. As a group we went to visit this house and it is a truly magnificent house. Each room is a fine example of how we used to live. Each time we stepped into a room it felt like we went back in time. There were a few major differences though. For example there was hardly any light compared to modern houses and there were a few chamber pots around the house also. Yuck!

Old Saint Paul’s

Old Saint Paul’s was built in 1855. It is a fine example of 19th century gothic revival and is built on 34 Mulgrave Street. It is constructed entirely of new Zealand native timbers (Matai, Totara, Rimu, Kauri and Puriri) and has amazing stained glass windows. The inside has been likened to an upturned hull of an elizabethan ship. The church was designed by Reverend Frederick Thatcher, an English architect and clerk. We also visited Old Saint Paul's and it was absolutely beautiful. Everything is hand made and each thing is hand carved. The stain glass windows are magnificent as well.

The land that Old Saint Paul’s was built on Pipitea Pa. A government survey was carried out in 1850 and it records a prosperous settlement which included a chapel and 17 homes with 20 acres of land under cultivation.

On each pew there is a small name holder. It was customary at Saint Paul’s to rent a family pew for the year or one seat in a pew if you presumably had no family. Having rented your seat it was yours until 9:55 on a Sunday morning. However if it was not occupied by 9:55 then it was free for anyone to sit there. Almost certainly this was a funding venture and continued well into the 20th century. The front two pews were always reserved for the Governor General who was seated on the right and the Bishops family who were seated on the left.

Thorndon Pool

Thorndon Summer Pool is one of the most historic places in Wellington as well as Thorndon. Thorndon Pool is at 26 Murphy Street. It features a 30.5 metre heated outdoor pool, terraced seating and shade structures for sun protection. Thorndon Pool is a tight knit community pool and there have been many birthday parties, work functions and even family get togethers! The run swim series is also held there. It always opens on Labour Day weekend and always closes a week before Easter. It is also one of two outdoor pools in Wellington and the only outdoor pool that is heated. In 1999 Thorndon Summer Pool was voted the best pool in Wellington. Since I have been at Thorndon School we have always swum there in term’s 1 and 4 and it is one of the best pool’s I have ever been to.
The pool was built on the 24th November 1924 and has been popular with many office workers and locals since. It is also the pool that our school has used for school swimming since it was opened so it is a big part of our school’s history as well. The pool still has its original tiles and brass railings around the outside of the interior.

At first it was a channel leading out to the sea but then they built it into the pool we have today. Although, when it was first built it was still salt water but after a while it was chlorinated. Back when it was built there was a male area with grass instead of a courtyard. There have been some other changes minor as well as drastic. For example, the female changing rooms used to be where the showers and toilets are now. The reason they moved the changing rooms was that they were down a long tunnel and water kept flooding them out so in the end they had to move them to the side of the pool ABOVE the water.
I hope Thorndon Summer Pool will stay there for a long time because it is one of the highlights of my summer and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Links
The Thistle Inn
http://www.natlib.govt.nz/collections/online-exhibitions/pipitea-thorndon/thistle-inn/?searchterm=The%20Thistle%20inn
Old St Pauls
http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/placestovisit/lowernorthisland/oldstpauls.aspx

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