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Martinborough Museum


Eighty year old wedding dress.

The Martinborough Colonial Museum is a treasure trove of interesting local artefacts and ephemera. Located in the old Martinborough Library, it is full of fine hand-made and embroidered clothing and linen (including several very fine wedding dresses).  In the old laundry (wash house) are old washing machines and even a mangle.

The kitchen, with an early range built into the fire place, demonstrates the challenges of cooking in pioneer times. It also has much old kitchen equipment and appliances.

There is much to interest men as well, with the old Martinborough and Hinakura switchboards from the former manual telephone exchanges, together with old carpentry and other tools.


Beautiful hand embroidery.


Detail of intricate embroidery on pillowslip.


Another wedding dress


The old iron bedstead is used to display beautiful hand-embroidered and smocked children's clothes and linen.



Manual switchboard from the Hinakura telephone exchange. When locals wanted to call someone, they had to ask the operator at the exchange to connect them.




In the late 19th century Martinborough was a popular centre for deer shooting.  This sepia photo, displayed in the museum, suggests the man in the photo was responsible for shooting all these stags.  Shooting was encouraged as, by 1913, deer had become something of a problem, with 20-30,000 estimated to be in the district.

Further reading
Deer shooting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries


Martinborough Museum is in The Square, Martinborough, and is open from 2 - 4 pm at weekends.

NZ Museums listing

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