The Old Doctor’s Residence in the centre of Naseby began life in the early 1870s as a tiny gold miner’s cottage. A decade later, another similar cottage was added. This extra space provided successive town doctors with their waiting room and surgery. With little available timber to hand, this dwelling was built from bricks crafted from the local clay at Dansey’s Pass.
In 1895, when New Zealand-trained surgeon Robert Church occupied the house, Naseby was promoted as “one of the cleanest and healthiest towns in the colony; it possesses an excellent climate and atmosphere”. At this time, the busy town boasted a Courthouse and Warden’s Office, County Council Chambers, a Town Hall, Masonic Hall, Athenaeum, a District Hospital, Anglican, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic places of worship, a state school and a Roman Catholic school, a flour mill, and several hotels and stores.
In the early years of the new century, further residential accommodation was built onto the Doctor’s Residence in the style of the Victorian villa. Newspapers dated 1902, and used as wallpaper backing, have recently been found in the villa section of the house.
These three disparate units have combined seamlessly to create the gracious dwelling which is now The Old Doctor’s Residence luxury bed and breakfast.
The hallway to the guest suites provides an excellent exhibition space for both emerging and established local artists and photographers. An arrangement with Hullabaloo Art Space in Old Cromwell Town and some new, local artists from the Maniototo, means that we can display new work when it becomes available.