Homestead heritage library opens
By Patrick O’Sullivan
Hastings’ ﬁrst Knowledge Bank was ofﬁcially opened on Saturday at Stoneycroft Homestead, Hastings’ oldest house.
Omahu Road’s Stoneycroft was built about 1875 and was the town house of Taihape farmer WJ Birch. In 2005, the Hastings District Council purchased the property because it wanted a green space near the Lyndhurst Estate development and called for suggestions on the best use of the house.
The Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust restored the interior of the homestead to accommodate the Knowledge Bank.
It uses digitised pictures, ﬁlm, biographies and oral histories of Hawke’s Bay to preserve the past. Galleries downstairs introduce people, places and events of interest to visitors, while studios upstairs will be used to collate more information on the history of Hawke’s Bay.
The upstairs studios include the region’s only sound-proofed oral history studio.
Stoneycroft Homestead is also home to the new Lily Baker Library. The library includes a collection of important records accumulated by Hawke’s Bay genealogists over a long period of time.
The homestead is registered as a Category 2 Historic Building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, with the whole site subject to a heritage covenant established in 1995.
The Knowledge Bank and grounds were ofﬁcially opened by Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule.
Photo captions –
REFURBISHED: Hastings District Council has spent about $100,000 upgrading Stoneycroft Homestead since it bought it seven years ago, including a formal rose garden, new entry gardens and signage.
GREAT OUTDOORS: Hastings District Council bought Stoneycroft Homestead primarily for its grounds.
FONT OF KNOWLEDGE: Stoneycroft’s new Knowledge Bank opened on Saturday.