HISTORY

Old St. Mary's Convent Vineyard Estate is steeped in history, and every effort has been made to retain the heritage of the Convent through its transformation into a luxury accommodation and wedding venue today.

The Convent

Designed by Thomas Turnbull and built in 1901 for the Sisters of Mercy, this historic Victorian Convent was originally located next to Saint Mary's Church in Blenheim. It provided nineteen bedrooms for the nuns, a library, music room, sewing room, office and a beautiful chapel upstairs on the first floor.

Native timbers were extensively used in the construction including Matai, Rimu and Kauri. One of the many splendid examples of Victorian craftsmanship is the substantial carved staircase, constructed entirely from Kauri.

In 1994, the Convent was moved in five pieces to its present location in Rapaura, Marlborough. The task of restoration then began under the guidance of architect Sir Michael Fowler. The interior layout downstairs has remained exactly as it was over 100 years ago, retaining its original charm and character. Extensive refurbishment and the addition of a new sitting room and bar using recycled Rimu in 2008.

St. Michael's Church

St.Michael's is a charming little Victorian wooden church situated in the garden. It has unique stained glass windows and may be used for a moment of quiet contemplation or for small weddings.

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