Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Next Hundred Years

As it was...
Last Friday saw the opening of Abbeville Estate.
A year ago, I had blogged about the fate of the old Westney Rd Methodist Church, which used to sit in Mangere, by the Auckland airport access road. At that time, I'd been provided information by Peter Alexander, Auckland International Airport's General Manager Property, and he kindly invited me to attend the opening...
Abbeville Homestead
Abbeville Estate is Auckland's newest venue for weddings and events. It contains four heritage buildings in tranquil surroundings, yet is only minutes from the city and the international airport (not that you'd know it - plane noise is almost non-existent).
The barn
The Nixon Road site is the original location of Abbeville Homestead and barn (the only intact pre-1860 historic farm complex remaining in the Auckland region). Moved onto the site are the equally well-restored 1855 Westney Homestead and Westney Church (c.1856).
Many of those attending the opening had family ties to to the church: their ancestors had been buried beside it. But no burial records existed, so the Mangere Hist.Society had the awesome challenge of finding descendants, from just
Westney Homestead
headstone details. Then permission was needed to resite the graves, so the land could be developed for the airport's second runway. The restoration of the church, with Andrew Rennie's well-known stained glass windows in pride-of-place, must have been fitting closure. Having seen the church in its latter tired days, I was
The Rennie windows
most impressed... 
The Estate plan required sustainable activities. The Great Catering Company will manage/operate the Estate as a function venue: several weddings are booked already. With the church and reception venue on-site, Abbeville Estate makes a one-stop wedding location!
Big bouquets to all those involved...and esp.Auckland Intl.Airport for going well beyond its core responsibilities and helping to preserve local history.
Ready for the next century...

2 comments:

Maria said...

This place looks really nice.
Did u take the photographs?

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Thanx! And yes, there're all mine.