Larnach memorabilia returned

Larnach Castle executive director Norcombe Barker, pictured in the stables at the castle, is pleased to have William Larnach's silver-topped riding crop back.

Mr Barker said yesterday it was "fantastic'' the crop had been returned, about 50 years after the Barker family had bought the castle, and 112 years after the last Larnach family member had left.

The crop was recently given to Mr Barker by Dunedin archaeologist Peter Mitchell, who had found it in a second-hand shop. When Mr Mitchell was later polishing the silver, he noticed William Larnach's initials.

"After some 112 years, it's astounding that these pieces come back to the castle, and it all helps tell the colonial Otago story,'' Mr Barker said.

The return of the crop was a fitting finish to the Barker family's recent 50th anniversary celebrations at the castle, he said.

Earlier, 19th century furniture researcher and specialist William Cotterill had completed restoration work on a historic bookcase in the castle library.

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