The Upper Hutt blockhouse and grounds was acquired by the state in 1916 under the Scenery Preservation Act 1903. The American-style fortification was built in 1860 in response to a settler fear that the New Zealand wars might extend to the district. It had loopholes for firing rifles and a double-skin timber frame with shingle infill for protection against gunfire. Originally it did not have windows – those were added later. It was briefly occupied by a small militia, but when the expected fighting never came it was evacuated. It was one of the few blockhouses to survive into the 20th century and its rarity increased its historical importance.
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