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The Nelson Photo News



What will Happen to "The Cliffs"?

With the death, recently, of Captain P. Moncrieff,' the 20-acre block of land immediately above Magazine Point has become the focal point for all Nelson land speculators, land agents and those interested in acquiring a piece of what is undoubtedly the most sought-after site in Nelson. The estate of Captain Moncrieff is to be wound up, but what is to happen to the land is still in the melting pot. While he was alive, Captain Moncrieff resisted every inducement to sell any part of the property known as "The Cliffs", and it is rumoured that some incredible offers were made. As can be seen from the aerial photograph above, the block commences on Princes Drive and extends down towards Magazine Point and to a point just above the reserve on Rocks Road. All this land is suitable for housing and the view over Tahunanui and Tasman Bay from every point on it is superb. The homestead itself is well over 100 years' old, having been built between 1842 and 1845.

During the Second World War "The Cliffs" was used as the site for a battery of 6-inch coastal guns (91st Battery), and the old concrete emplacements remain today. At left, the overhanging lip of one helps frame a view of Tahunanui.


The land has not remained idle in the 48 years it has belonged to the Moncrieffs, and for 18 of those years, Mr Percy Bartosh, (above), has kept the small farm ticking over. The farm has provided the two families with its own dairy products and the gardens and fowl runs with vegetables and eggs. Below, is a view of the house from below the second gun emplacement (rumour has it that this gun was a dummy, but we haven't been able to confirm this).



The most northerly-sited gun emplacement was later converted into a type of summer-house with a magnificent view towards the sea. The other emplacement can be seen towards the right, and an observation post was sited still further south. But in the war years, the emplacement above was occupied by this coastal gun, a photograph of which was supplied to us by a member of the battery, Fred Price (formerly Bombardier Price).