- Things to Do
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- Taste Selwyn
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Venture a little further in Selwyn this summer and check out our regional museums.
Glentunnel and Hororata have museums that are run by volunteers passionate about history. Find out some of the surprising stories behind the small towns.
Hororata Museum and historic Cotons' Cottage are tucked away on a beautiful rural site. The museum contains an impressive display of historical artefacts and records from Hororata and surrounding areas, including farming implements and the history of farming in the late 19th century and records from Hororata School.
Walk through Coton's Cottage, one of Canterbury’s earliest cob cottages, fitted out with furniture and household items of the time. The cottage is a house of rammed clay first built in 1864 by one of Hororata’s original settlers, Bentley Coton. He bought 50 acres and tried mixed farming. The house and a ¼ acre of land were later sold to the Crown for 10 cents as Public Reserve.
The Historic Places Trust gave assistance to the Hororata Historic Society in rebuilding the cottage to the exact specifications of the original building. 50 locals gave their time to help the rebuild. The cottage was built again in 2014 following damage from the 2010 September earthquake.
As well as the museum and cottage, visitors can explore the ‘stinky’; an intriguing old wagon used to house agricultural workers. It earned the name 'stinky' from the aroma of the men living in such close quarters.
Opening Hours: 1:30 - 4pm Sundays, November until May
Glentunnel Museum has an extensive collection of items of historic interest to the Glentunnel, Coalgate and Whitecliffs district. The museum is entirely staffed by knowledgeable volunteers.
The charming building that houses the museum was originally the Coleridge Odd Fellows Hall, built by local builder Fred Smith in 1908. Two further extensions provide plenty of room for a library of local history, domestic tools and farming tools.
Examine the collections including the history of coal mining, pottery works, farming, railway, sport, schooling, household items, and stories of local servicemen in WW1 and WW2.
The history of the local pottery is of particular interest. John Deans established the Homebush Brick and Tile Company in Glentunnel in the 1870’s.
Glentunnel was originally known as Surveyors Gully, until people needed to get coal from the nearby hills to the Homebush BrickWorks. Two landowners were unable to reach a resolution, so a tramway tunnel was built in 1874 to navigate around the disputed property. This was the Tunnel in the Glen. The Tunnel was used for about 9 years until no longer needed in 1883. Horses were used to pull the coal wagons along the tramway to the pottery.
If you’re interested in times past, spend an hour browsing the collections and get an insight into what life used to be like in Glentunnel and surrounding towns.
Opening Hours: 1pm - 4pm Sundays during daylight savings hours or by appointment
The Selwyn District is home to a thriving Vintage Retail market. If you want to keep browsing for retro items and fashion, explore Selwyn's op shops and vintage stores.