Character cottage celebrates centenary

By Amy Shanks

An iconic cottage which survived the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, is celebrating its 100th birthday.

Rush Cottage, located at Black Barn Vineyards in Havelock North, was originally built as a shepherd's quarters on Te Mata station for the Chambers family in 1912, but is now used as luxury accommodation.

Designed by architect William J Rush, the cottage is one of a collection of buildings in the village which bares his signature style - roughcast exterior and orange Marseilles roof tiles.

The building is overshadowed by a Washingtonian palm, grown from a seed brought back from Egypt after World War I, and opened its doors to guests around Christmas in 1994. It is one of 14 other retreats subsequently opened by Black Barn.

About 130 people gathered on the lawn for a fitting invitation-only birthday bash on Friday night, complete with speeches from the owners of Black Barn and a performance by two talented music students from Wellington.

"We just wanted to make a toast to Rush Cottage and take an amble down memory lane," Black Barn retreats manager Vicky Orton said.

"It was the first building on the site when the directors/owners of Black Barn bought the property.

"It's pretty special for the area. There's not many buildings of that ilk left."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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