Hackthorne Gardens, the History and the Present
Hackthorne Gardens was a mansion built on the Cashmere Hills in 1928 as a family home for Archibald Henry Anthony, a lawyer whose name lives on in the legal firm Anthony Harper.
At Archibald’s request, the architect, William Tengrove, built the house to emulate an Englishman’s stately residence. It was designed during the hedonistic Roaring Twenties, when flappers in cloche hats and fringing danced the Charleston, jazz was coming of age in the United States, and art deco was the flavour of the times. This classy old girl in Cashmere bears some allusions to the architectural style in her lines and decoration, from the floret designs in the cut-glass window panelling of the entranceway, to the wooden curvature of the banister.
Archibald Anthony sold the property to the New Zealand Trust Board for Home Schools for Curative Education – unusually, for the proceeds of a Capping Day procession – and in 1965 it became the Shirley and Grace Hohepa Home (named after Archibald’s daughter and wife), housing intellectually handicapped children.
From 1987, when the Hohepa Home staff and residents moved to Halswell, it became a boutique bed and breakfast establishment, with guests ferried to and from the airport in the restored vintage cars of the owners. These owners also added several arched windows, which were formerly in Nazareth House.
In 1999, new owners renamed the property Maddison on Cashmere and converted it to upmarket accommodation for the elderly. In 2010 the property was purchased by Serena Bailey and Michael Starling who converted it into upmarket accommodation.
The current owner, Mr Wang Jianping who resides in Beijing China purchased the property in 2015 as his residence when he was in Christchurch on business but decided he would share it with others and has now had the place transformed into hotel style luxury accommodation with nine beautifully appointed rooms and an additional twelve rooms to be built onsite in the near future.