Maungaturoto will be celebrating 150 Years in 2013

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whakapirau Anglican Church Cemetery

I made a nice leisurely drive out to Whakapirau today and what a lovely sunny day it was! I stopped at the Anglican church cemetery to take photographs of some of the graves. It's nice to see such a well looked after place, I could tell that 3/4 of the graves were nicely restored, the grass had been mowed around them and flowers were used as decoration.

A little bit of history to share:
St Alban's Church (Anglican), Whakapirau was built in 1896 after a period of community fundraising that enabled it to be opened debt free. The site for the church was formerly part of a block of land made tapu by koiwi from the battle of Marohemo in 1825. The tapu was lifted from the land by the gathering of the koiwi into an ossuary. These bones were subsequently used to fertilise vineyards in the vicinity. The churchyard contains the graves of a number of members of local families, Maori and Pakeha, including several of those directly involved in the erection of the church.

The church is built of kauri, supplied from one of the kauri timber mills formerly nearby. Its lofty belfry and prominent hilltop site make it a landmark visible for some distance along the Kaipara harbour. The interior of the church reveals the warmth of the kauri boards to considerable aesthetic effect, and its timber pews and other furniture add to its charm. Information from

Please note: the photos belong to A. Forbes - if you wish to use them please email me on

1 comment:

  1. Amy, I wrote the report on St Alban's church for NZ Historic Places Trust that you cite - I'm glad you found it useful. I'm currently doing research on the history of the former North Kaipara Dairy Company factory at Whakapirau. I have a lot of info on its dairy factory days 1904 – 1915, but its later history is not well documented. Campbell’s history (of the Maungaturoto dairy factory) says it was sold as a community hall after Maungaturoto acquired the assets of the Kaipara company in 1915. Just who bought it for ‘the community’ he doesn’t say.

    Any info on its ownership, community hall use and then its later use (including as an oyster factory) would be much appreciated.