Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The signalman's house

In Devonport halfway up Mount Victoria is this cute little period house now named "The Michael King Writer's Centre". Michael King was New Zealand’s most prominent writer of non-fiction. He had a great sense of humour, huge curiosity, and a scholar’s intensity, but always with a popular touch.


His histories appealed, beyond any specialist audience, to the wider New Zealand public. This house can now be used by writers who need a quiet place to work.  Originally this house was known as "The signalman's house" though. The first signalmen lived in a tent or a raupo hut on the top of Mt Victoria and later a house was built on the summit. The summit was fortified because of the Russian scare in the 1880s and it was eventually taken over by the Defence Department. In 1898 the Auckland Harbour Board decided to build a new house for the signalman on the current site, about half way down the southern slope of the mountain. 

The first signalman started in 1842 and the 4th and final one lived here in 1934. 

Linking up with Our World TuesdayThrough my lensTuesday TreasuresMy Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

18 comments:

Lydia C. Lee said...

That's really interesting. Hoping to get there soon #WordlessWednesday

Fun60 said...

I wonder if I could pretend to be a writer and spend some time in the house.

NatureFootstep said...

a very interesting story. And a beautiful house. :)

Susan Heather said...

I must walk up Mt. Victoria if I ever get back to Auckland.

Veronica Lee said...

I enjoyed the story, Amy. That is indeed a beautiful house.

At Home In New Zealand said...

Those old houses have a character all of their own :)

NCSue said...

I confess my ignorance - what does a signalman do?
It looks like it would be easy to find one's muse and being to craft a lovely story in that house.
Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/05/ebony-ivory.html

local alien said...

Was that the Michael King who wrote about NZ and Maori culture? I have many of his books. He was one of my tutors at Wellington Polytech half a century ago

gz said...

That must be an inspiring place to stay and work..the house and the view

Tom said...

...it's a beauty! I like the trim on the porch, thanks Amy for sharing.

bill burke said...

The house is beautiful and a great getaway for a writer to go and write.

Amy said...

So a signalman is a person responsible for sending and receiving naval or military signals like from the top of the mountain so boats etc can see it.

Amy said...

I think so, I need to check out his books I think.

William Kendall said...

I like the architectural style.

Iris Flavia said...

Very interesting and a great place now for others, kind and clever.
Can you recommend "Penguin History of New Zealand"?

PerthDailyPhoto said...

What a perfect spot for writers to use Amy, inspirational even 💜

betty-NZ said...

There is so much history here that needs to be re-discovered by those on a journey. Great captures and history.

Thanks for being part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!

Paspii said...

Where there´s Russia, there´s the problem.

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