Firth Tower

The Firth Tower was built by Josiah Clifton Firth on his estate in 1882. It was designed to be used as a lookout over the the countryside however, in times of war and unrest Joseph Firth also used the tower as a protective site in which to take cover in case of a Māori strike. Reports tell of Joseph Firth shooting at Māori from this tower.

The Firth Tower, which is one of the earliest reinforced concrete buildings in New Zealand, stands 16 metres tall and is located approximately 3.1 km west of Matamata. In 1978 the tower was given a makeover and turned into the centrepiece for a museum. Today the tower is used as a museum with exhibits and displays created by the Matamata Historical Society.

Matamata’s Firth Tower is also now used for celebrations, weddings, working purposes or family picnics, with the relaxing surrounds and wealth of history appealing to people of all ages.

Photo credit:

Nancy Swarbrick. 'Waikato places - Matamata', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 15-Nov-12