Oldest European building in Canterbury

Visit the historic Deans Cottage, constructed in 1843 by Samuel Manson for the pioneering Scottish settlers, William, and John Deans.

Crafted from local timber

Embodying the enduring spirit and history of its early settlers.

Iconic heritage cottage

This cottage, crafted from timber sourced and pit-sawn in the nearby Riccarton Bush, represents the second dwelling the Deans brothers established as they pursued their agricultural dreams on the Canterbury Plains.

The initial cottage, also built by Manson earlier in the same year, was demolished in 1890.The Deans brothers resided in this cottage during their formative and ultimately brief lives.

A story encapsulating Canterbury

William met a tragic end in 1851, drowning when the barque "Maria" wrecked near Cape Terawhiti off the Wellington Heads. John, after marrying Jane McIlraith in Scotland in 1852, returned to Riccarton in February 1853, only to succumb to tuberculosis in the cottage in June 1854.

Following John's death, Jane Deans and their son John remained in the cottage until the completion of Riccarton House's first stage allowed them to relocate in March 1856.

The great values behind our trust

The Riccarton House & Bush Trust is committed to preserving this stunning heritage site in the heart of Christchurch.

Protect & Enhance
Flora & Fauna

Protect and enhance the indigenous flora and fauna of the indigenous forest, including mahinga kai and taonga species.

Promote the Natural & Cultural Heritage

Protect and conserve Riccarton House and Deans Cottage and their Grounds.

Protect & Enhance
House & Cottage

Promote the natural and cultural heritage values of the Riccarton Bush property/Pūtaringamotu.

Increase Visitation to House & Bush

Increase visitation to The Riccarton Bush, Riccarton House, Deans Cottage and their Grounds.