"THE GRAND OL' LADY ON THE HILL"
A PIECE OF EDWARDIAN HISTORY
Te Kiteroa Historic Homestead was an iconic Edwardian property built for Mrs Emily Phillips in Waimate, South Canterbury, New Zealand in 1913.
The story of who Mrs Phillips was, and how she came to build such a grand home has taken over 30 years of research - this wealthy widow started life in the Victorian slums of Mile End, London - voyaged to New Zealand to eventually become Housekeeper to one of the wealthiest men in Australasia, Allan McLean - becoming extremely wealthy and a lady of status and means in her retirement.
Mrs Phillips' fascinating life opens an opportunity to step back in time to imagine what life may have looked like for the grand lady on the hill.
Te Kiteroa sadly succumbed to a devastating fire in May 2021 and was unable to be saved. Prior to the fire, the property was widely recognised and celebrated as a beautifully cared for Edwardian Homestead, which gave visitors the chance to step into a time capsule reimagining what life may have looked like during Mrs Phillips' retirement years living in luxury.
Mrs Phillips remained a loyal employee of McLean until after his death in 1907 at Holly Lea (also known as McLean’s Mansion) in Christchurch. Bequests were left to his relatives and servants, including Mrs Phillips, who was also given the right to live in Holly Lea for the rest of her life.She was left an annual pension of 3000 pounds by McLean, which allowed her to return to the Waimate district in style. Thanks to McLean’s generosity she too became a lady of money and means, which allowed her in 1913 to leave Holly Lea and build her own home of grandeur - Te Kiteroa Lodge, plus the two detatched cottages for her own Chauffeur and Gardner. Emily Phillips remained at Te Kiteroa until her death in 1921.
WATCH PAST VIDEOS FROM TE KITEROA
Prior to the events of the fire in May 2021, there were many future plans in place to continue to celebrate the beauty and tranquility of Te Kiteroa ... and the property was in the process of hosting events, talks, workshops and boutique retreats
We fortunately began making several video diaries in late summer of 2021 that capture the elegance and splendour of Te Kiteroa only mere months prior to the fire.
Please enjoy these video diaries if you would like to walk down memory lane and take a look inside what was truly a remarkable piece of living history