History Trail

6    5-Wire Fence

Along the north-east and south-east boundaries of the house lawns there are the remaining parts of a 5-wire fence that kept the stock, which grazed on what is now the Village Green, from the house lawns.

A long-time standard in New Zealand for fencing grazing animals such as sheep and horses, the wire fence design has not changed much. The number of wires varies from 5 to 7 and the top wires were sometimes replaced with barbed wire to discourage animals from pushing against the fence and damaging it.

The fence at Williams house is a replacement that was contsructed during restoration of the house. It uses standard galvanised wire fastened with hoop staples onto native timber posts and strainers, (all puriri), which stand a little over 1 metre high.

The Far North District Council specification for the restoration stated that traditional materials and practices were to be used. For example: "All wire shall be No.8 gauge galvanised steel. All knots and ties shall be traditional fencing practice." The puriri posts and strainers were sourced from a farmer in Kaeo and the aged wood was not permitted to be cleaned, so they would continue to appear appropriately weathered.

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