The third of March 2017 marked 50 years of restoration and innovation at Larnach Castle by the Barker Family.
It was a year of celebration, acknowledging the work carried out initially by Barry and Margaret Barker, and the progress that continues to happen under the leadership of their son Norcombe Barker.
In 1967, with Margaret and Barry Barker bought Larnach Castle which at that time was empty, derelict and surrounded by a tangle second growth. It was at this time, while still in her 20’s, that Margaret developed a passion for gardens and gardening. Over the years, Margaret and her family restored and furnished the Castle and created a garden within the historic framework.
The Castle now opens 365 days a year for self-guided and guided tours, there is now a licensed café in the ballroom and adjacent garden where guests enjoy food and wine. Larnach Lodge was built to accommodate guests in 1982 and in 2011, Camp Estate, the luxurious country house was purchased. Functions in the ballroom and a gift shop with the other endeavors all contribute to the conservation of the historic property which hosts over 100,000 visitors annually.
Norcombe and Margaret Barker would like to acknowledge the large team employed at Larnach Castle both now and in the past, the guests that visit from New Zealand and internationally, the travel trade that have long standing relationships with the Castle and the tradesmen and women that have worked on the Castle. Without these people, the Larnach Castle project would not be the success it is today.