The fourth cache in the now “Wildly-Famous-in-Pohangina” Wildbore geocaching series is at the top of Church Hill, near the site of the eponymous church.
By the end of the 19th century, the population of Awahou, on the eastern side of Pohangina River, had grown to a healthy number, and the community felt it was high time for a church to service the Awahou community.
St. Aidan’s Church was opened in November 1902, a modest but attractive timber church accommodating 74 people. It was designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere, the son of an Anglican clergyman, who began training as an architect at age 16, and emigrated to New Zealand aged 21 in 1877. As architect to the Wellington Anglican diocese from 1883, he designed more than 100 churches. Until 1904, there were mostly in country districts, and made of timber, like St. Aidan’s of Church Hill.
The church stood on this site until 1967, when it was de-consecrated and moved (minus its steeple) to just a mile or two up the road to Awahou School, to serve as a school hall.
If you have never tried geocaching, you can join for free at www.geocaching.com – it is a great way to spend some time on a weekend, with kids or without! To find the coordinates and other information about this geocache on the site, click on “Filter” and search for “Wildbore” to see the full series of caches – more being added all the time!
For more information about the history of the Valley and Wildbore’s photographs, see Wildbore: A photographic legacy (Totara Press).