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An official opening ceremony for the new Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank and the Stoneycroft Reserve is to be held on Saturday 1st December.
The Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust has faithfully restored the interior of the historic Stoneycroft homestead on Omahu Road to accommodate the Knowledge Bank. It offers a computerised record of pictures, film, biographies and oral history of Hawke’s Bay. Galleries downstairs introduce people, places and events of interest to visitors while studios upstairs will be used to collate more information on the history of Hawke’s Bay. These upstairs studios include the regions only sound-proofed oral history studio.
Stoneycroft Homestead is also home to the new Lily Baker Library. The library includes a collection of important records that have been accumulated by Hawke’s Bay genealogists over a long period of time. Much of this information will be available on a website, which is also due to be launched on December 1st.
The historic Stoneycroft Homestead was built in 1875 as a “town house” for Mr W J Birch, who used the homestead as his town residence while he farmed on a remote property on the Taihape Road. The homestead is registered as a Category II Historic Building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, with the whole site subject to a heritage covenant that was established in 1995.
The homestead and land was purchased in 2005 by the Hastings District Council, in recognition of its historical importance, and its location at the gateway to Hastings. The park like setting will also increase the area of green space that is located within the Lyndhurst urban development.
Over the years Council has undertaken significant work at Stoneycroft with more recent developments including the redevelopment of the formal rose garden, new entry gardens and signage.
There will be entertainment and food available for purchase or you can bring your own picnic to the event which runs from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday 1st December. Mayor Lawrence Yule will officiate at the opening ceremony at 1.30pm.
NOTE: Car parking is available at the old Waipawa Bus Lines depot, opposite the entrance to Stoneycroft.