Story: Building materials

Riverlands cob cottage, Marlborough (1st of 2)

Riverlands cob cottage, Marlborough

Early European settlers often had to make their own houses. They used forms of construction that were familiar to them from their place of origin. These often utilised earth or clay in various forms. Migrants from Cornwall built cob houses, made from a mix of clay and straw or grass, built up in layers to make walls that were thick and warm. In this case the Riverlands cob cottage walls are a mix of clay, chopped tussock and horse manure containing undigested chaff. It is not clear exactly when it was built – it was possibly as early as 1859.

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How to cite this page:

Jeremy Salmond, 'Building materials - Early houses', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 August 2022)

Story by Jeremy Salmond, published 11 Mar 2010