Building Larnach Castle
Larnach was a man of great vision and created a magnificent residence for himself and his family.
A story is told that William Larnach and one of his sons went for a horse ride along the top of the Otago Peninsula to choose the best site for their home. Today you can still see why this site was chosen as it has wonderful panoramic views of Dunedin, Otago Harbour, the Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
First the site was clear-felled, then the hill site was levelled by putting pegs into the volcanic rock and pouring salt water on them to split the rock. Approximately 200 men spent three years building the shell of the Castle and then gifted European craftsmen spent 12 years embellishing the interior.
Materials from all over the world were used - marble from Italy, slate from Wales, floor tiles from England, glass from Venice and France. No expense was spared in creating Larnach's dream home! Many New Zealand native woods were also used - kauri ceilings, rimu floors and honeysuckle panelling. In 1885 a 3,000 square foot Ballroom was added.