Whanganui blockhouses

Whanganui blockhouses

This painting of Whanganui in the 1860s shows the Rutland Stockade (with two blockhouses and other buildings within the perimeter fence). Military tents dot the hillsides which slope down to St Peter’s Church and the commercial buildings beside the river.

Following the May 1864 battle at Moutoa Island, Whanganui’s existing defences - the Rutland and York stockades - were reinforced by a series of redoubts built along the river and on the town’s north-western boundary. The killing of provincial councillor James Hewett on his farm in February 1865 raised fears of another attack on Whanganui. Hewett’s farm was only a few kilometres from one of the redoubts.

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