A 110-year-old villa that was once home to Carterton’s parish priest was hauled away in pieces in the middle of the night to its new home in South Wairarapa this week.
The new owner of the former St Mary’s Catholic Church presbytery has moved it to a 2.5ha rural site south of Greytown where he intended to renovate it as a new home for his young family.
Former parish council member Asrina Hutchinson said it was sad to see the building go after it played such an important role in the community over the years.
“It was a very happy place and very much a parish community place,” she said. “It’s sad because we had three or four generations of our family who have been part of that Catholic community.”
* Sadness as last Catholic service held in Lyttelton, after more than 150 years
* More interest in the stars as religion fades in rural Waikato
* Moving Taranaki Cathedral’s vicarage will block neighbour’s sea views
The neighbouring church was deemed earthquake prone in 2018 and the site was sold to developers earlier this year.
The presbytery was built in 1912 and was home for the parish priest and also housed the offices and administration services.
Greytown man Matt Calder bought the building to be converted into his family home on Bidwells Cutting Rd.
Calder said the moving crew would take around a week to put the building, which was shifted in two pieces, back together.
He said though the building looked nice from the outside, its interior required a lot of work to bring back to its former glory.
“From the outside it’s an absolutely gorgeous building, and it’s got a huge amount of stature to it.”
Calder said he would be replacing the 1990s-era windows with period sash windows and installing colonial french doors.
When finished by the end of March, it would have four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and two living areas, he said.
“It should be a gorgeous home when it’s done and the site where it sits has got real presence.”
Calder said he got a “phenomenal amount of satisfaction” out of saving beautiful old buildings and giving them a new life.
“When I’m finished with it, it should have another 110 years in it.”