The Barker Family's lifelong passion project of restoring the Castle continues today. Please be aware that we are currently doing key restoration work on the tower and in some rooms. The tower is currently not accessible for viewing. More information on restoration work here.

Intervening Years

1899 - 1967  "A Castle in Decline"

Larnach Castle has had many owners between the Larnach Family and the current Barker Family. The Castle has had many uses, as a lunatic asylum, a hospital for shell-shocked soldiers and a nuns' retreat. The Ballroom was once even used as a sheep holding pen!


Auction of furniture and chattels.  Used as a holiday retreat for nuns.


Government buys Castle for 3,000 pounds.  Castle then used as a hospital for mental patients and for shell-shocked soldiers.


Castle vacant - suffered much theft and vandalism.


Mr Jackson Purdie purchased the Castle and spent a large sum of money restoring buildings and grounds.  The Castle became a showplace filled with antiques.  Electricity connected.


Mr Purdie, with failing health, decides to sell - no interest - so contemplates demolishing the building and selling the materials.


Castle goes to auction; bought by Mr Armstrong for 1,250 pounds.


Sold to Mr Stedman.  During WW2 over 80 US soldiers billeted here.


Mrs Empson purchased the Castle.
Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity
New Zealand Gardens Trust
Landmarks New Zealand
Tiaki - Care for New Zealand

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