Wallingford Homestead | History
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The First Generation – John & Hannah Ormond

John and Hannah Ormond

The homestead was originally built by “the Master” the Hon J D Ormond (1831 – 1917). In December 1847 before either Canterbury or Otago were colonised (aged 15) J D stepped ashore in Auckland from his home of Wallingford Berkshire in England as the secretary to E J Eyre, the Lieutenant-Governor of New Munster.


By the end of 1860 all the creeks from Waipukurau to Blackhead (Blackhead reef provided the wool loading and incoming goods landing area serviced by small coastal vessels) had been bridged and by 1862 Wallingford Village had a store, a blacksmith and two hotels, one of them with eleven bedrooms.


It is not known how large the homestead was at this point suffice to say that Hannah Ormond’s 1864 journals indicate it was a sizeable house. By 1873 a map of Hawkes Bay shows Ormond owning the Mangangarara Block, 14,226 acres which included the homestead, and adjacent, to the North East, the Eparaima Block of 4,849 acres. With a flock of 25,354 sheep Ormond ranked sixth among the landowners of Hawke’s Bay. By 1872 he also owned land to the south of Wallingford and at Karamu in Hastings, and later purchased land at Woodville and Mahia. By 1852 JD had settled Wallingford Station, he built the homestead around 1853-54.


In 1869 Ormond was elected to the Superintendency of Hawke’s Bay and the family moved to Tintagel in Napier to live, returning to Wallingford for the summer holidays. They had spent the first 9 years of married life at Wallingford but never returned to live there.

Wallingford Homestead circa 1880 Central Hawkes Bay New Zealand


Jack & Gladys Ormond

John Davies (Jack) Ormond the sixth and youngest of Hannah & J D’s children was born in 1873. He married “Gran Ormond” Emilie Mary Gladys Wilder (1881-1958) in 1902. Jack and Gladys Ormond raised twelve children at Wallingford, six boys and six girls, see the list below.


By 1905 Wallingford was a prosperous and well-developed sheep and cattle station of some 34,000 acres. The village, which existed mainly to complement the farm, consisted of a blacksmith (the village centre), a boarding house, a telephone exchange (set up and paid for by the Hon J D to assist his work on the Legislative Council) and a school. In 1905 Wallingford was still an important stopping post on the journey from Porangahau and the coast and was linked by a daily horse-drawn coach to Waipukurau.


The four-horse carriages that were used for mail delivery and transportation on the coastal run changed horses at the Wallingford stables until their replacement in 1912 by service cars. During 1908 the Nursery wing of the homestead was added.


With the extra hardships imposed by the war and a rapidly growing family – ten by 1918 – Wallingford was a busy homestead. In 1917/18 a new wing was added to accommodate the growing family and a number of servants including two nurses, a cook, a gardener, a scullery maid, and with the arrival of Miss Farrow in 1916, a schoolteacher. The house also had its own tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course. Hurst Seager from Christchurch was the architect for the final alterations made during 1917/18.

Jack & Gladys – family of 12 children…….
1904 Margaret married Arthur (Tom) Hope in 1927 – 3 children
1905 John married Judith Wall in 1939 – 5 children
1906 Edmond (Ted) married Barbara Gatenby in 1931 – 4 children
1908 Sheila married William (Bill) Sherratt in 1931 – 3 children
1911 Katherine (Kit) married John Acland in 1935 – 6 children
1912 Jacqueline married James (Ed) Giesen in 1939 – 6 children
1913 Walcott married Una (Tommy) Herrick in 1939 – 5 children
1916 Andrew (Dan) married Norma Bunny in 1945 – 5 children
1918 Audrey married Thomas (Tom) Maling in 1938 – 5 children
1919 Decima married Andrew (Dan) Vallance in 1944 – 5 children
1921 Michael married Joan Browne in 1950 – 5 children
1924 David married Pauline Cameron in 1975


The 12 children (third generation) produced 52 first cousins who make up the fourth generation of the family.

The Third Generation – Sir John & Lady Ormond

sir john Davies Wilder Ormond

(Sir) John Davies Wilder Ormond, (second eldest of the twelve children) was born on 8th September 1905; he died on 8th March 1995. His wife-to-be Judith Wall was born on 15th June 1920 (married on 26th August 1939); she died on 2nd July 2000. Sir John chaired a number of boards in New Zealand including the NZ Meat Producers Board, the Exports and Shipping Council and the New Zealand Shipping Line, the latter established by the Kirk Labour Government.


These were interesting times for agriculture in New Zealand with the change from the bulk purchase of many of NZ’s agricultural products by the British Government, vital to Britain during the war years, to the era of British entry into the EEC. Four very powerful producer controlled Boards – the Meat, Wool, Dairy and Apple and Pear Boards – working in close cooperation with the Exports & Shipping Council guided us through these troublesome times for New Zealand.


There were a number of well known personalities involved on these boards at the time but special among those was Sir Jack Acland of Mt Peel in Canterbury, Chairman of the NZ Wool Board, and married to Sir John’s sister Kit Ormond. Another was Sir Tom Skinner President of the Federation of Labour, his close association and friendship with Sir John signalled the beginning of a new era of understanding in New Zealand that producers and workers are vital to each other’s fortunes.

John Ormond BEM being Knighted
Sir John Ormond BEM Shipping Corporation of New Zealand

The Fourth and Fifth Generations

Ormond Homestead new farmstlye accomodation lodge, Wanstead, Central Hawkes Bay. 
Reporter: Hilary Pedersen
Photographer: Warren Buckland

Five children made up the fourth generation. Caroline the eldest who died in 1989, Johnny who died in September of 2014 and three brothers George, Alastair and Michael.


Johnny lived in Wallingford for most of his life. It was Johnny and Jen that turned opened the doors of Wallingford. Johnny took great joy in opening up the Ormond homestead so that more people could enjoy the house that had brought so much happiness to his friends, family and cousins. 


Johnny’s children make up the fifth generation, being Hannah, Eve, Olivia, Johno and Charles.

The Homestead


Wallingford has always been a family home with frequent visitors. Common memories of Ormonds who lived or visited Wallingford are of a home filled with people and fun. This is not surprising considering the third generation of 12 produced 52 first cousins in the fourth generation, many of them staying at Wallingford during the school holiday breaks.


As young children the fourth generation were brought up strictly but fairly and were confined to the Nursery Wing, behind the existing gate, under the watchful eye of a most wonderful Nanny/Housekeeper, Nan Gaston.


For many years Rarotongan families were employed to cook and tend the gardens, one wing of the homestead is called the Rarotongan Wing. We have close friends and families among those who came out from Rarotonga to begin their lives in New Zealand at Wallingford.


The Homestead’s Wings:

The Nursery Wing
The School Room Wing
The Rarotongan Wing


History Books & Writings

There have been a number of books written outlining the history of the Ormond Family and Wallingford including “The Master” by Rosamond Rolleston and “In the Chair” by Peter Tait. If you would like more information please contact Wallingford, or the authors directly.


Click on the links below to download and print these papers
Sir John Ormond wrote this 8 page Early NZ History and Personalities.
Mick Ormond has written this 2 page family Racing History.
An interesting letter from the UK in 1905, 3 pages on the Wilder Line.


Family Trees

For family members there are two further links of interest. The first is a family tree of Burleigh and Wallingford Ormonds, with the Mahia side still under construction. The link for this is currently missing from our records. The second is the March 2005 reunion web site that has a full family tree. To see details of these you will need the password which can be requested from your elders.