Posted by Shelley Bryant on Apr 24, 2020
Paul and I have been so lucky to live next door to the most beautiful park in the Hutt Valley – Trentham Memorial Park.  It is wonderful to have it so close and has been a godsend during these past 4 weeks of isolation.  We walk to the park twice a day – a long walk without the elderly dog and a short walk with the elderly dog.
 
Trentham Memorial Park comprises 49 hectares of park land featuring remnant native forest and playing fields.
  
In 1841 when the entire valley and surrounding hills was thick bush, Richard Barton and his wife Hannah purchased 100 acres of land including the area which is now Trentham Memorial Park.  Mr Barton named the estate Trentham after his English childhood home.  The estate extended to the north from what is today Quinns Post to Silverstream on the south and across the Hutt River to the Western Hills.
 
The Barton's intentionally developed their land as a park modelling it on large stately English estates, developing some areas for farming, some for parkland and leaving an area in natural bush.  Overlooking the park at the junction of Fergusson Drive and Camp Road the Barton's built the Manor House.  The house was extended until it eventually comprised a total 22 rooms with six staircases.  The Boy Scouts dismantled the house in 1939 for a jamboree after it had been gutted by fire.  No signs of the house remain today.
 
Two tall Kahikatea trees were used as radio masts by the Barton's.  Their height meant the aerials could be seen floating high above the bush.  Other tall trees in the park today include a belt of redwood tress planted by the Barton's in 1909 to screen the homestead.
 
In 1924 the first discussion to acquire the area known as Baron's Bush were held with the Barton family bit it was not until 1950 the property was purchased as a public reserve at a cost of £26,000.  The finance was provided by public subscription with equal contributions by the Hutt County Council, Upper Hutt Borough Council and a War Memorial subsidy of £13,000.
The park has been extended over the years by way of purchase by the Crown, Hutt County Council, Upper Hutt Borough Council and gifts by the Barton family.  It now provides facilities for many formal sports as well as informal facilities such as picnic areas and a children’s playground.
We love this park – there are many walkways through the bush plus easy access to the Hutt River.  It is looking stunning at the moment as the trees turn colours of red, orange and yellow.
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