Mrs Heron’s home restored

Photo: Pam Jones
Photo: Pam Jones
The restored Heron Cottage - complete with stabilised stonework and new wooden doors - sits on the banks of the Clutha River in the Roxburgh Gorge.

Heritage stonemason Keith Hinds, of St Bathans, and heritage builder Chris Naylor, of Clyde, have worked on the project, which has been funded by Contact Energy. The company has an agreement with Heritage New Zealand to work together to manage archaeological sites along the banks of the Clutha River.

The 1860s cottage, also known as Mrs Heron's cottage, was ''possibly the most significant archaeological structure in the Roxburgh Gorge'', Contact environmental adviser Daniel Druce, of Alexandra, said.

The cottage used to be part of a large gold-mining area called Fourteen Mile Beach, which during the peak gold-mining period of the 1860s and 1870s was home to up to 1600 prospectors. Henry and Harriet Heron's cottage was ''perched above'' the settlement.

With the construction of Roxburgh Dam and flooding of the Roxburgh Gorge in 1956, the other remaining sites and dwellings disappeared under the lake. 


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