The preservation of Dunedin’s colonial heritage is extremely important for the future of our city and the Society should feel justifiably proud of this first step at Craigieburn. However, like all projects there is still much to do and project manager Paul Pope will now focus on the stone wall and cow byre in the central paddock with archaeologist Dr Jill Hamel and stonemason Stuart Griffiths. These two structures create quite different challenges in their preservation but will offer equally rewarding results and will provide even further insight into the colonial life of some of Dunedin’s early Scottish settlers.
The preservation work on the small ruin adjacent to the public track to Ross Creek is now finished with the completion of the stone work and stabilisation of the structure. There is a noticeable increase in the “robustness” of the ruin now and it should now remain as an important heritage feature for a further 150 years. When one looks at the stone and clay work undertaken in the repair, there is a glimpse into the way the building would have looked when it was built. There are some minor archaeological investigations still to be completed on the eastern side of the structure, and the laying of some gravel to dry out the walking surface for visitors, but the ruin itself is now in its preserved state. To give some idea of the detail of the restoration, the numbered stones shown in the picture have been placed back into their original context. Another feature of the stonework are the building stones that have clearly been used by the settlers for sharpening knives or other tools.