‘Lord of the Rings’ filming location on the market in New Zealand – DIRT
An idyllic rural estate that served as a filming location for Peter Jackson’s epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy is now up for grabs in New Zealand. Known as Fernside, the pastoral estate’s history dates back to the late 1800s when it was owned by the wealthy and socially prominent Elgar family. After the estate’s original residence burned down, the Elgars commissioned Kiwi architect Heathcote Helmore, a former student of legendary English architect Edwin Luytens, to design a new one.
Completed in 1924, the resulting elegant country mansion was executed in the Georgian Colonial Revival style and boasts eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, a living room, a conservatory, a formal dining room, a library, a flower room, a boot room and a wine cellar among its many interior spaces. Architectural features include oak and jarrah wood floors, detailed plasterwork and moldings, paneling, original tiles, multiple fireplaces, an elevator and ‘original servant’s bells’.
The property remained in the Elgar family until 1949, when it was sold to the United States Embassy and served as the ambassador’s residence and a venue for government functions for several years. In the mid-1950s she changed hands again and entered a period of steady decline which continued unabated until 2007 when her current owners purchased her and began an effort to restore her. several years.
This effort has extended to the approximately 12-acre Fernside Gardens, which have been restored to their original glory using plans and photos from the 1930s. The Arts and Crafts-style gardens house a plethora of “rooms “different, starting with a formal courtyard with fountain, a rose garden, a topiary chess garden, a daffodil enclosure, a glade of bluebells and a Victorian sunken garden. There is also a ‘vegetable garden’, an orchard with just about every fruit tree you can think of, a lawn suitable for croquet and a wood filled with ancient oaks, cedars, elms, poplars and weeping willows. .