On this 250 acre, fourth generation sheep & beef cattle hill country property of BlackHills, you will have an insight into the life of the early NZ settlers.
Heritage buildings (circa 1863) were restored between 1999 and 2004, and include a pioneer cottage & stables made from handhewn limestone with cob, the original sheep dip and horse drawn agricultural equipment.
Buildings contain natural coloured, handspun wool garments & products which can be purchased onsite, or here online.
Beverley offers a wealth of knowledge about farming in the district old & new.
To view the video of the farm in operation, click here.
A Bit of History
Robert Adam Forrester, of Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland, arrived in New Zealand on the 'Chrysolite' 24 November 1862, having had a 3 month journey by sea.
Initially he worked as a boundary keeper on the property Montrose, North Canterbury, then purchased his own first property in Rotherham, 14 years later, calling it 'Kilsyth'. In 1883 he acquired BlackHills, Hurunui - this had previously been part of the original 201,000 acre property Glenmark Station, that extended from the Waipara River to the Hurunui River.
On 10 May 1892, Sarah Forrester, the seventh child of Robert & Louise, was born in the cottage (formerly called Stoneycroft by the Perrot Family) on what was the BlackHills hogget block.
James Kilsyth Forrester, the fourth child, married in 1914 and his son Frank Kilsyth Forrester married Ellen, his first cousin, daughter of Sarah Black nee Forrester. Sarah Forrester and James Kilsyth Forrester were therefore Beverley's husband, Jim's great grandparents.
Jim Forrester was born on 8th October 1942 is the 4th generation on this property - married Beverley Price (14 June 1986)
Stock on the property farmed by Jim & Beverley included:
- "Heatherdale" Corriedale sheep stud (est 1920) NZ Flock #52
- "Blackhills" Hereford cattle stud (est 1978) NZ Herd #690
- "Bushlands Blacks" (est 1978) NZ Flock #73
Jim died suddenly 12 September 1997, his dream having been to restore the collection of limestone and cob buildings on the property (circa 1863)
Between 1999 - 2004 Beverley restored the buildings and although the farm is now downsized, it continues to this day in her ownership.
Awards and Achievements
2000 Heritage Award - Awarded by Hurunui District Council
2003 Heritage & Environment Award - Awarded by Hurunui District Council
2003 Her Business Network Award at NZ Businesswoman of the Year
2004 Launched ‘Beverley Riverina’ ™ Knitwear Designer Collection
2005 NZ Tourism Qualmark
2006 NZ Century Farm & Station Award, Awarded to Farms and Stations in New Zealand which have been in ownership by the same family for over 100 years.
2006 NZ Made Campaign Certification
2007 Established Blackhills (NZ UK) Ltd
2007 Opened showroom in Watlington, Oxfordshire, England
2008 Garment selected as NZ Gift for HRH Princess Anne. Presented in NZ at the Canterbury A&P Show.
2009 Opened shop in Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
2009 Runner-Up - Rural Women NZ, Enterprising Rural Businesswoman Award
2009 Nominee, Air New Zealand Cargo Export Award, Awarded by Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
2010 Winner - Continental Niche Marketing Award, Awarded by North Canterbury Business Assn.
2012 Style Christchurch
2013 Runner up - BMW New Generation Award, at 2013 NZ Fashion Week
2014 Invitation - Vogue Knitting Live, New York
2014 Established distribution in USA and Canada
2014 Invitation - Lecture in Paris, France at the 8th World Coloured Sheep Congress
2015 Established distribution in Canada
2015 Book ‘The Farm at BlackHills’, Published by Penguin Random House ©2015