NORMANDELL (Home to NZ Pacific Studio 2001 - 2018)
Normandell means 'House of Normans' and was named by its first owners, Christopher Burton and Sarah Ann Burton.
Sarah’s maiden name was Normansell, and she was very proud of her Norman ancestry, calling her first son Norman. Sarah Ann grew up near Birmingham, and Christopher was a Yorkshireman from Rotherham. They immigrated to New Zealand in 1879-80. A clockmaker, Christopher Burton worked for over 30 years as foreman for Littlejohn and Son in Wellington.
They had Normandell built in 1911-12 and lived in the home with their son Christopher Jr., who went off to World War I and managed to survive. On his return, he took up his old duties on the Normandell farm. In 1921, he married Madeline Braddick, nee Henson, a young widow who had married local farmer Arthur Braddick in 1917 who died on the Western Front in France. Their daughter Joan Braddick grew up in Normandell, along with her six Burton half-brothers and sisters.
Arthur Braddick's name is inscribed on the ANZAC Memorial Bridge in Kaiparoro, the name of our small district settlement. Originally with its own school and hall, now this house and the ANZAC Memorial Bridge are almost all that is left to tell its stories.
When the property was sold from the Burton Family in 1972, they buried their old heavy Victorian furniture in the old cold store in the hillside. No one wanted their Victorian furniture: Formica furniture was the fashion in the 1970s. Then they bulldozed the hillside to bury it. From time-to-time a ‘dig’ is undertaken to see what can be found.
Normandell and its 110 acres was sold to Bruce and Margaret Wooldrage. They erected the cast iron gates at the entrance which contain the first letters of their names B-R-U-M-A-R.
Since 2001, Normandell has been restored and expanded, with the addition of new French doors of cedar, small windows along the south facing side in two bedrooms and a new bathroom in what was originally the fourth bedroom. Architect Rosalind Derby of Paraparaumu designed all the new additions.
For more about Kaiparoro, please read the book Living in Kaiparoro by Kay Flavell. We always keep a copy in the living room of the house.