Ngaio Marsh House

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Stay and explore key icon. Galleries and museum key icon.

37 Valley Road, Cashmere, Christchurch

03 337 9248

Ngaio Marsh House sits in a beautiful spot on the lower slopes of Christchurch’s Cashmere Hills. One of the first houses to be built in the prestigious location, it was designed by the notable Christchurch architect Samuel Hurst Seager and built in 1906. It is the family home of Dame Ngaio Marsh, a world-renowned crime writer, artist and theatre director, and it is where she spent her childhood and where she returned to in her later life to live, write and entertain. 

Stepping into the house is like taking a trip to a past time –  it’s a real-life time-warp where everything is as it was left by the Grand Dame. The dining room, complete with handmade table mats, awaits celebrity guests to arrive; the kitchen with its mid-century oven and fridge, a reflection of the times; the drawing room filled with colour and paintings by Dame Ngaio Marsh herself, along with other prominent New Zealand artists; and her bedroom as it was when the Queen of Crime passed away in 1982. 

A huge amount of personal belongings, photographs, essays, and even her diary are on display for visitors to admire. On top of these, a number of first editions of her countless crime novels sit in neat lines on the bookshelves. History buffs are sure to appreciate every detail of this incredible house, but the true magic of the visit is encountering the mauri of one of New Zealand’s best-known literary figures. 

The Ngaio Marsh House is a heritage-listed property and is well worth discovering for its architecture, stunning gardens and views alone, not to mention to acquaint yourself with the life of the trailblazer of a woman who lived and worked here. It is simply an experience not to be missed.

Tours of the house must be booked and organised in advance.

Words by Petra Nyman & Photography by Ashleigh Vermaak

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37 Valley Road, Cashmere, Christchurch

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