Addison’s Flat

By: allanahphoto

Jan 11 2012

Category: Uncategorized

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Geocaching leads you to some great places that you would normally just fly by in the car on the way to somewhere. In this case we found a disused colonial cemetery 100m through a cow paddock on the road to Westport.

The cache description tells of a ‘battle’ that happened there between the Catholics and the Prostestants.

Read on from the cache description…….


Addisons Flat was once a small but cosmopoliton mining commununity, about 8 miles south of Westport, named after an African American, who found gold here in May 1867. Now all that remains is this old cemetery.


Here’s a bit of history for you; The so-called “Battle of Addisons Flat” took place on 3 April 1868. A month earlier, an Irish procession headed by a priest had broken into the Hokitika cemetery and had erected a Celtic cross in honour of three Fenians recently executed in Manchester. A similar but more peaceful demonstration took place in Westport on St. Patrick’s Day. Soon afterwards, news arrived of an Irishman’s attempt to assassinate the Duke of Edinburgh in Sydney. Fearing a Fenian uprising, the authorities concentrated troops in Hokitika, arrested the Irish leaders, and arraigned them on charges of riot and seditious libel. All were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms and fines. The outbreak at Addisons Flat, a predominantly Irish gold-miners’ tent town 8 miles south of Westport, occurred when a party returned from Westport where they had celebrated the Duke’s escape from the assassin’s bullet. As they marched into Addisons Flat singing patriotic songs, they were met by a hail of stones from the assembled Irishmen and forced to retreat. During the next days Irishmen from the surrounding districts mustered in force at Addisons Flat fully expecting an attack by Government forces, while in Westport the loyalists vainly urged the authorities to allow them to march against the enemy. Thanks to the moderating influence of A. S. Kynnersley, the local warden, an armed clash was averted and the opposing forces never met. In later years the story of the “Battle of Addisons Flat” has been much embroidered, but there is no reason to doubt Kynnersley’s report that “all the wounds received did not require ten inches of sticking plaster, and all the property destroyed would be well paid by a ten pound note”. – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. A normal cache with the usual swaps. Should be an easy find. There is public access to the cemetery, but please respect the private property that this access crosses.


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