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John O'Malley Photography  
John and Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders (1864-1891)
240 pages with over 200 full colour paintings & photographs (ISBN: 978-1-927167-31-1)

Available online here, and in bookshops
'Commended Award' in the Canterbury Historical Association J. M. Sherrard Award in New Zealand Regional and Local History (Twenty-second judging (2018) for books listed in the National Library Catalogue in 2016-17)

'...this is an intelligent and multi-faceted book, a delight to read and a satisfying record of the early days in what has since become a famous high country tourist destination'
Front Cover John and Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders (1864-1891) records the story of the pioneer sheepfarmers from Cornwall who ran Castle Hill Station in the Canterbury high country, New Zealand, for more than 25 years in the late 19th century. Extracts from letters by both brothers and paintings by Charles that they sent home to their family give a fascinating insight to a lost way of life.

Over 50 paintings by Charles are reproduced, with matching ‘then and now’ photographs by John O’Malley and depict their Trelissick buildings, neighbouring homesteads at Craigieburn, Grasmere, Cora Lynn, and Mt White and views of waterfalls, mountains, rivers, lakes and the limestone rocks so characteristic of Castle Hill. Further afield Charles painted Otarama (now Brooksdale), Racecourse Hill and Middleton Grange. Historic photographs further complement the paintings. Additional photographs by John O’Malley feature the stunning scenery of Castle Hill.

John Enys contributed much to early Canterbury and served on many committees, including the Selwyn County Council and the Canterbury Provincial Council. Sharing an interest in nature with geologist Julius Haast, John was involved with the founding of Canterbury Museum and the public library. Passionate about the natural world, he collected and studied whatever he could find; native plants, fossils, moa bones, fish, birds, spiders, butterflies and moths.

The Enys brothers made the most of the outdoors life this region offers. While they were very busy at mustering and shearing times, they could hunt, fish, ride, go boating, ice-skate and explore the hills and valleys at other times. In those days of travel by coach and horses, life was very basic in their isolated high country home, but they could enjoy staying at the Christchurch Club when in Christchurch. They took turns travelling back to Enys, Cornwall several times, experiencing different routes.

Their friends come into the story; farmers Edward Chudleigh, Samuel Butler, Barton Acland, Charles Tripp, Arthur Hawdon, Edward Maxwell, John Brabazon, scientists Julius Haast, James Hector, Thomas Cheeseman, Thomas Potts, Frederick Hutton, Thomas Kirk, artists Marianne North, William Packe and nephew Claude Rogers.
Click on the images below to view page previews:
Jenny Abrahamson worked at the University of Canterbury library for over 20 years. After graduating from the University of Canterbury, she worked as a scientist at the DSIR for 7 years, before taking time off to raise three children. This is her first book.  Jenny Abrahamson has been visiting Castle Hill basin all her life, staying at Enys, a typical home-built New Zealand bach on the original site of the Enys brothers’ Trelissick home.

John O’Malley  (F.NZIPP) has been a professional photographer for the last seven years. He was one of the photographers for 'On a Saturday Night: Community Halls of Small town New Zealand' (CUP). John has won a number of awards for his photography including the Kodak International Salon/George Eastman Medal in 1993 and more recently in New Zealand a number of NZIPP Iris Awards. He was recently awarded the 2017 NZIPP Canterbury/Westland Regional Photographer of the Year.

The book is available online from this website, and from bookshops at $49.99

To order a copy of the book via Paypal ($49.99 with free postage within NZ), click on the button below. (A Paypal account is not required to make a purchase)

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For more information, and for overseas purchases, please contact the author

If you are interested in reading more about the history of Castle Hill Station you may also be interested in John Ewan's book 'Porters in My Past'


all images on this site copyright © john o'malley photography