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Family wanted: an old retro school could be turned into a house

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The 134-year-old Medbury Hall has been the local school and town hall.  Could it be a family home?

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The 134-year-old Medbury Hall has been the local school and town hall. Could it be a family home?

Want to buy a slice of New Zealand history, while securing what might just be one of the few affordable family homes on the market?

Medbury Hall, in Hawarden, Canterbury, is for sale, measuring 110 square meters on a 1.11 hectare site – and with a motorhome costing just $ 125,000.

The Hall, which the estate agent describes as ‘famous in Medbury’, is 134 years old and was a rural school for the first 40 years of its existence.

The room is owned by a local trust and has recently been used by a playgroup once a week.

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The room is owned by a local trust and has recently been used by a playgroup once a week.

Medbury School closed in 1927 after four of the local schools merged to form a school in Hawarden.

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At some point in the 1900s, the hall was purchased by James Spence for £ 50 and donated to residents for use as a community gathering place. It was eventually renamed Medbury Hall.

The hall was used for dances and meetings of the Country Women’s Institute, as well as for Anzac Day commemorations.

Medbury is no longer considered a township, but is just a hit on the road just off State Highway 7 near the Hurunui River.

The lobby at 447 Medbury Road is on 1.11 hectares of land.

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The lobby at 447 Medbury Road is on 1.11 hectares of land.

Listing agent Maria Rickerby, of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, said room administrators were hopeful that 447 Medbury Road would be purchased and turned into a family home.

“They would love to sell it to someone who was going to keep it and make it a home,†she said. “And, in fact, most of the people who have been there have wanted to make it their home. “

However, she said it would require upgrades and compliance agreements with the local authority, the Hurunui District Council.

Medbury Hall has been a community focal point for all of its 134 year history.

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Medbury Hall has been a community focal point for all of its 134 year history.

Because the area is zoned rural, resource consent would be required and a neighbor within 100m of the property should be notified. A building permit would also be required.

“To make it a residential property there are a few steps to go through with the council, some upgrades and modifications to make it a home,†she said. Examples were the septic tank, which would need to be improved, as was the electrical wiring.

The room was currently used by a playgroup once a week. The trust was looking to build a venue elsewhere, most likely on the nearby racetrack, and the funds generated from the sale would go for this purpose.

The kitchen is in a lean-to at the back.

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The kitchen is in a lean-to at the back.

She said the list generated a lot of interest, a few locals, but if not people from all over the country.

The property was auctioned off and there was no expectation of a fixed price.

The list says Medbury Hall has created “an exceptional focal point and has played a vital role in providing a social gathering place for the local community for approximately 130 years”.

Wood floors, woodwork and cathedral ceilings, all sought after heritage elements.

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Wood floors, woodwork and cathedral ceilings, all sought after heritage elements.

“Cathedral ceilings are a centerpiece and are complemented by exposed trusses, sash windows and wood floors throughout. Well served by two toilets and extending over the entire length of the lean-to is a functional kitchen area.

“A newly installed wood-burning stove ensures that occupants of the rooms are kept warm on a bleak winter day.

“If you are a heritage lover wishing to acquire a unique buying opportunity, this may be the place to stand out and although there is undoubtedly work to be done to make this house a residence habitable, with the agreement of the town hall, the rewards would make it more than worth it.

THING

Late last year, Prime News anchor Eric Young and his wife Michelle sold the heritage-listed Brake House in Titirangi, designed by architect Ron Sang. This video was first shown last November when the property went up for sale.

The building has no heritage classification.

The property will be auctioned on November 19 at 2 p.m., unless it is sold before.