Medway Hills

Current Owners: Peter & Junette Molineux

Area (ha): 593

Since late 1964 this freehold property has been owned by Mr Peter S Molineux, formerly of Palmerston South. Peter's wife, Junette, became a partner in 1980.

Medway Hills is about 51km from Blenheim. The average yearly rainfall is 889mm.

The flock is predominantly halfbred (replacements retained.) In 1979 a Merino stud (fine wool) was founded on the basis of the late J R Jackson's Saxon blood lines - over recent years Merino rams have been imported from Australia and the Molineux family have had their share of successes at the shows. The Medway Merino stud was disbanded in 2007.

Cattle are bred - at present 80 Hereford breeding cows are carried (run with K M Dysart Shorthorn bulls). All cattle are fattened. Hay and supplementary green feed are grown for winter.

Medway Hills was originally a run of about 2,671ha taken up (mainly from the Assets realisation Board's sale of Upton Downs in early 1909) by a Mr Harvey. In 1914 Mr Harvey also acquired about 81ha from Wm F Conway of Weld's Hill. Mr J H Dent (and partners) took over Medway Hills about 1915 and in 1920 they sold a block of approx 2,145ha to the Jermyn brothers (now known as Corleggy). Shortly after this, the partnership was dissolved but Mr Dent continued to farm the holding on his own account - eventually selling out to Mr Ken Wilkinson in the early 1920s. Mr L L T Bush was the next owner (1931). He sold out to Mr & Mrs Ralph (E R) Gardner of Springfield in July 1954. The Gardners sold to Mr D Gosling of Blenheim in 1962 - the owner before Mr Molineux.

The original homestead (a small one) was built by Mr Harvey in 1909 - most of this was pulled down in 1931 when Mr L L T Bush built the present substantial residence using Californian Redwood specially imported. In 1991 the original part of the homestead was pulled down to be replaced by a larger, modern kitchen. Dents built the woolshed - major renovations to this were completed in the 1980s. Also new sheep and cattle yards, along with an implement shed and workshop have been built. Electric power came to Medway Hills April 1931. Power was taken to the woolshed in 1974.

In 2003, Richard Molineux (son of Peter & Junette) took a lease of 490 ha of Medway Hills along with a lease of 100ha from McNaught & Walker (which was part of the original Altimarloch) which he farms under his own identity. He grows all his own supplementary feed.

Medway ValleyGillian McLeod