Heritage

Early Residents of Fendalton

Walpole Cheshire Fendall (1830 - 1913)

Walpole Fendall was the man who gave Fendalton its name. He emigrated from Yorkshire in 1850 and took up land north of the Waimairi Stream. He claimed a 50 acre parcel of land, set about sub-dividing it, but only lived in the area for a few years. His main passion was horse racing, but he also dabbled rather unsuccessfully in politics.

Rev. Henry Fendall, a widower with 4 sons and 4 daughters, was the vicar of Crambe, a village in Yorkshire. Early in 1850 he and his sons applied to the Canterbury Association for the right to select a 50 acre section. W.C. Fendall, the third son, came out immediately to claim the section, paying £3 a acre for it. Rev. Fendall and his other sons arrived in different ships at different times. They did not come to the north-west area of Christchurch but worked in the parishes of Avonside, Heathcote and later Cust.

The Fendalls had purchased Rural Section 18, land running in between the Wairarapa and Waimairi Streams. It is thought W.C. Fendall built a whare, or cob cottage, where Quamby (Holly Lea) would be built later. He lost no time in beginning sub-division of his land. This, plus the fact a road was cut through the land, led to the area being Fendall Town - although at this stage there was no church, no shops, nothing that constitutes a "town". Fendall, with his wife Lucy whom he had married in 1854 at St Michael’s, left the Fendalton area for the Kowai district in North Canterbury in 1860. Even before this, in about 1854, he had leased a 100 acre Riccarton farm, so his association with the Fendalton area was fleeting.

Fendall’s main interest was in horse-racing and he was an original member of the Canterbury Jockey Club. He was one of the stewards at the first race meeting held in Canterbury, in Hagley Park in 1852 and his bay mare won one of the races. Along with his Fendalton neighbour, W. Guise Brittan, he rode at many meetings.

Much of the biographical detail held at the Canterbury Museum concerns itself with Fendall’s life in North Canterbury. There is quite detailed information given on his attempts (mostly unsuccessful) to enter politics, although he did get to be a member of the old Provincial Council of Canterbury. Later, disillusioned by his many defeats he moved to Pleasant Point where he built a concrete house, naming it Fendall’s Folly.

There is some physical description of Fendall in Sarah Courage’s book. Under the pseudonym of Solomon Jolliboy she describes him as being rather stout and addicted to the pleasures of the table, not a handsome man with there being material enough in the flabby acreage of his pendulous cheeks for two or three good-looking faces. He was apparently a martinet in his home: but then he did have seven children.

Both Lucy and Walpole Fendall are buried in the graveyard at St Paul’s, Papanui.

William Cuddon (1835 - 1924)

William Cuddon arrived in Lyttelton in 1856 on the Egmont, bringing with him the first engine and boiler imported into Canterbury. He had been trained as a brewer and maltster by his father who owned a large brewery in Suffolk. Cuddon bought 10 acres of land in Fendalton from Daniel Inwood (1803-78). Inwood had come to Canterbury on the Sir George Seymour 1850, buying part of Rural Section 18 from W.C. Fendall and there building a slab hut and his first mill. It was later, in 1869 when he wanted to shift his mill operations to Hereford Street, that he sold some of his land to William Cuddon.

Cuddon’s land was bordered by what is now Straven Road, near Fendalton Road. He built his home (described in the Cyclopedia of N.Z. Vol. 3 1903 p122 as a large and convenient residence) where Heathfield Avenue now runs, plus a mill, a brewery and a malthouse. Each building was two storeys high, built of brick and stone. The motive power was steam, generated by a sixteen horse-power boiler, driving a vertical engine of twelve horse-power. Straven Road at this time was a blind road, only going as far as the Waimairi Stream and was then known as Brewery Lane.

The business grew and prospered. In 1903 the output of the works was equivalent to 30,000 bushels per annum. Among the products were pearl barley, ground pepper, rice, ginger, coffee, split peas. There were some exports to Australia.

Cuddon was popular in the area because of his private bowling green.

Cuddon’s wife Marianne is buried in the Barbadoes Street Cemetery. She died at Fendalton in 1898. Two of their children are also buried there: one of them, Samuel, had died at sea aged 15 years.

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