The Sherwood estate, only taken np about two years ago, by F. B. Passmore, Esq., shows an enormous amount of work done in the shape of buildings, fencing, cultivation, waterworks, &c., which one can hardly credit without seeing. The dwelling house is finely situated, a gravelled drive forming a circle in front of the house, with a grass plot in the centre, and artistically laid out, flower beds bordering the drive. Behind the flower bed margin of the drive there are about 2 chains of young trees, which extend all round the homestead, and plants are dotted all over the estate numbering 22,000 forest trees, besides 56 acres of blue gums. The dwelling is a square building containing no less than 20 rooms, with a verandah in front, from which is the main entrance, the dining-room being on the left, and private rooms on the right. The house is built in the modern style, well finished inside, witli a conservatory on the side. At the back is a yard surrounded by out-houses of various kinds, and a large water tank is prominent amongst them, capable of holding 22,000 gallons of water for domestic purposes. It is supplied by a windmill pump, of which wc shall afterwards speak. At the back of the house is a good gravelled road, continued from the front drive, and leading to the stables. Before going further we were shown into Mi - . Passmore’s office, where there is a large collection of curios from most parts of the world, especially India, Queensland, and Fiji. The whole would make a very creditable museum. The next thing that called our attention was the kitchen garden, lying sheltered between the house and the stables, &c. Here there has been a great deal of time spent, and not in vain, for the garden and its contents, with three or four hot-beds, are looking quite a picture just now, well stocked with almost every kind of vegetable, and a great many fruit trees are coming on well. A short distance from the garden is a piggery with room for about twelve pigs, and a large concrete tank near to drain the sewer, which is useful and convenient for the garden. In another part near the garden are the poultry yards, built in rather a novel style, with a view to facilitating attention to the poultry and getting the eggs. And now the windmill and pump; these are a most important feature on the estate, as they are at present the only means of getting water to supply the large requirements of the estate. The mill is fixed on the top of a large tower, we should think as much as 60 feet high, and the structure is quite an ornament to the place, besides its great service. It supplies three tanks, holding 22,000 gallons, and one of 1,500. This supply is at present found to be quite ample for all requirements. Beyond the mill is the stock yard, stables, sheds, store-rooms, and the sheds where the steam-engines are kept with the ploughs, &c. , used with the same. The first building we have to notice is the large stable, containing 26 stalls, four loose boxes, cornroom, harness-room, and large lofts for storing grain, feed, <fec. At the back is a stock yard, surrounded with sheds, and a large water-trough in the centre, supplied continually from the large tank. Further on are two large buildings, where the traction-engines and steam-ploughs are stored when not in use, besides a lot of other machinery of various kinds. These buildings are all built of heavy timber and corrugated iron, very substantial and superior-looking structures. Just outside the stock-yard are four or five cottages inhabited by the employees, these buildings are all well built, and have the appearance of town cottages rather than country residences. The steam ploughs are now in full work and giving every satisfaction. The amount qf plqugjpng they accomplish is from ten to twelve acres a day, and they roll op harrow sixty seventy acres per day. The manager informs us that the steam ploughs are a great success, and the amount of work that can he got through with i heir assistance is of very great importance to largo estates such as Sherwood. The wonder is that they ape not more generally used by landowners. We have often heard it suggested that on such a wide tract of flat country as is the County of- Ashburton, a steam cultivator ought to be owned by a number of farmers, and if this were done, a considerable saving would he effected, and work much expedited. The amount of land under cropthisyearisl2soacres, of which J()00 are bx wheat and the balance oats. The crop of wheat is looking remarkably well, and a large paddock near the homestead looks like a very good yield indeed. In fact, the crops generally in this district are making capital progress, aud gpeaks well for a hearty return on the large outlay this year in breaking up new land. There is very little stock on the Sherwood Estate except sheep and horses. Of the latter there are 22 draughts, two thoroughbred colts (one took first prize at the A- a n 4 P- A. Show), two fillies, and seven hacks. What with steam ploughs, traction engines, and a siding from the railway line, there is not a great deal of use for horses, and with Mr. Passmore’s ingenuity and skill in using such appliances as he now possesses, and in anticipation, this large tract of country which he has taken up will bo worked with comparatively little expense. The railwaj', which is almost completed, runs through the estate, with a siding for private purposes, which will not only be a great convenience in transit, but an enormous saving, thus giving a much larger profit on the ’produce of the land. The railway line will benefit a groat many other farmers in this distiict, and we look forward to the time at no distant date when a much greater population will be settled on the land through which it runs. The district generally will be reviewed iij a future issue.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 37, 20 December 1879
SHERWOOD ESTATE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 37, 20 December 1879
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