127 South Street
Manawatu, New Zealand

Phone: (06) 323 6401
Email:  Feilding Archive


Piripiri Post Office with Enright & Culling Families 


Home Records Books Photos Links


Books for Sale


Swamps, sandflies and settlers, Feilding and the Manchester Block, the European settler families by Janet Doyle and Dorothy Pilkington. 

Another Feilding & Districts Community Archive project.  A new edition of the book first published in 2000, extensively updated with new research, and histories of more families who were brought to Feilding by the Emigrant and Colonist's Aid Corporation 1874-1879.  Short histories of businessmen who settled in the area during those years are included.  Both a comprehensive surname index, and a general index have been added. 

The book costs $39.00 (plus postage if required).  Copies are available at the Coach House Museum, or by email order to the link below.


Hearths and Feilding Families, by Marilyn Wightman and Stevie Dallenger

The history of Feilding told through 45 houses and homes of early Feilding people. Recalling the life and times of an earlier era the book includes  different  building designs and styles of the late 19th century (1874-1899).

Researched and written by staff of the Feilding & Districts Community Archive, this book is priced at $41.00 (plus postage) and is available in person at the Coach House Museum, or by email order via the link below.

Makino Memories

Compiled by Robyn Corpe and Ngaire Stantiall in 2001, this popular book tells the stories of the settlement just north of Feilding township that began in 1880 with the intention that this new town would eventually grow to be the main population area of Manawatu. There was the attraction of eventually owning a 40 acre block of land to farm which encouraged families to flock to this district. Initially sawmills offered the most employment and a small settlement of shops and stores began.  The chief employment industry was to be the Makino Butter factory established by William Wescombe Corpe.

Full of photos and images this comprehensive book gives accounts of the early families that settled in the area. It was reprinted in 2019 by the Coach House Museum and the new edition now has an index. Price is $39.00 (plus postage) and it is available in person from the museum, or by email order via the link below.

The Purchase and Settlement of the Manchester Block

By T. A. Gibson, 1936. Reprinted in 2015 by The Coach House Museum, Feilding.

This comprehensive account of the beginnings of the wider Manawatu District relied on early newspaper reports as well as first-hand accounts of some early settlers.  Beginning as a philanthropic society in England, it had the financial backing of gentry who were endeavouring to resettle people and move them away from Europe where economical upheaval and unemployment had resulted from the industrial revolution. They sent out General Feilding (in 1871 a Colonel) as their appointed representative to negotiate with the New Zealand Government to purchase a suitable area of land for development.

The Manawatu area was chosen and the main settlement became known as Feilding, named after the family who were part of the scheme. The books gives an account of the arrival of the first settlers in 1874 and the progress made over the next decades.  The book has been reprinted and is only available from the Coach House Museum. Price is $25.00 (plus postage).

To arrange purchase of any of these books, please click here to email.


Pilkington Writer's Fund

Dorothy Pilkington has set up a fund from the monies accrued through sales of her published book – ‘Signs of the Times’.  The fund, administered by FDCA (Feilding & Districts Community Archive), is to provide a seeding loan to assist specifically with the printing costs of future publications that deal with some aspect of the history of Manawatu -  that is for printing costs of a book written, proofed and formatted ready for publication.

The book:

* must be a local history book relating to the Manawatu region

* must be of a high standard and the subject matter deemed suitable
   for publication

* must be formatted and proofed ready for publication

* should comply with the standard format of Contents, Index,
   Appendix and Reference listings

The written work must be in book form and not have been included in an existing journal/magazine.  It will be submitted to the FDCA Operations meeting, and then to the Pilkingtons for their review.  Quotes from two printers (one of which will be used) are required to accompany the manuscript, together with a marketing plan for the publication from the author. The decision of the FDCA concerning the application is final.

Terms & Conditions

This is not a grant fund, but a loan fund.  The author will be required to repay the loan at quarterly instalments over an agreed period once the book is released.  The interest rate will be determined by the governance committee.  

Feilding & Districts Community Archive     
Coach House Museum                                                                                                      
127 South Street


Contact:   Marilyn Wightman, Archivist

Phone:      06 323 4233

Postal:      PO Box 42, Feilding 4740

Email:       Click here .....



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You can find us at the Coach House Museum, 127 South Street, Feilding.


Open Thursdays, 10am to 4pm
[or by appointment]