Mount Peel Cemetery – Church of the Holy Innocents

The Church of the Holy Innocents was built by the Acland family.

John Barton Arundel Acland first came to New Zealand in 1855 on the Royal Stuart, travelling with his friend Charles Tripp. In 1859, he returned again, for good this time, arriving in Lyttelton on the Clontarf. John Acland was a barrister, sheep farmer and politician. He was the sixth son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 10th Baronet of Killerton.

Acland established land in mid-Canterbury, at Mount Peel, which was to become the first high-country station in Canterbury. The building of the family home began in 1865 and, four years later, the Acland’s built the Church of the Holy Innocents for use by family and neighbours.

The church was consecrated by Acland’s father-in-law, Bishop Harper, whose eldest daughter Emily he had married.

Between 1864 and 1869, before the church was built, four young children were buried on the land on which it now sits. Two of them were Acland’s children. This is how the church got its name.

Built from hand-cut boulders from the nearby Rangitata River, and with a matai ceiling, this sturdy little church was largely unscathed by the September 4th, 2010, magnitude 7.1 Canterbury earthquake.

However, the front wall, that sports the stained-glass window above the altar, had crumbled. This window was a memorial to John B A Acland and his wife, Emily.


High-resolution photographs of the grave are available, plus one or two of the cemetery/church if applicable. This includes a full transcription, particularly for those stones that are hard to read or eroded.

Please consider a small donation to keep the site and the work going

Email me for gravestone images: moorfnz@gmail.com


These images are copyright Hunting Kiwis (2010-2012)
Please note – recent headstones from 1980 onwards have not yet been added


ACLAND, Colin Dyke (29th October, 1999). Natal Mounted Rifles. Also his wife Sybil Marjorie.

ACLAND, Emily Dyke (d. 1864). Second daughter of John Barton Arundel Acland. The first burial in the cemetery.

ACLAND, Henry Dyke (d. 12th December, 1942). Also his wife Elizabeth Grace Acland (d. 29th October, 1942).

ACLAND, Hugh John Dyke (d. 26th January, 1981). Died at Mt Peel.

ACLAND, Hugh Thomas Dyke (1874 – 1956). And his wife Evelyn Mary Acland (born Eastsheen, England).

ACLAND, Hugh Thomas Dyke (d. 4th June, 2008). Husband of Fredericka Scott Acland.

ACLAND, Joanna Enid (d. 29th March, 2007). Of Mt Somers Station. Wife of Mark. Mother of David, Ben and Hamish.

ACLAND, John Barton Arundel (d. 18 May, 1904)

ACLAND, Mary Maxwell (1891 – 1990). Wife of Theodore William Gull Acland.

ACLAND, Michael Dyke (d. 10th January, 1994). NZEF WW2.

ACLAND, Phillipa Mabel (d. 31st July, 1999)

ACLAND, Thomas St. Hill (1910 – 1996). And his wife Margaret Ellen Acland (nee Musgrove).

ALLAN, Alexander (d. 9th August, 1950). And his wife Jane Elizabeth.

ALLAN, Mabel Joyce (d. 21st August, 2007). Nee Beavan. Wife of  Edgar. Also Alexander Edgar Allan (d. 1986) – NZ Army Service Corps.

BARKER, Alan Cedric D’Ewes (d. 23rd November, 1996). Died in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. Youngest child of William Edward and Lucy Mary Barker. Last surviving grandchild of Dr A C Barker.

BARKER, Evelyn (d. 2nd July, 1901). Age 5 years and 10 months. Daughter of W E & L M Barker.

BARKER, Gertie (d. 19th February, 1884). Wife of W E Barker.  Age 28.

BARKER, Hereward (d. 19th September, 1895). Age 6.5 years. Son of W E and L M Barker.

BARKER, Lucy Mary (d. 6th October, 1947). Wife of William Edward Barker.

BARKER, Olive Mary (1890 – 1980). Last surviving granddaughter of Dr A C Barker.

BARKER, Rhoda Elizabeth (d. 21st June, 1964).

BARKER, Ruby Gwendoline (1893 – 1975).

BARKER, William Edward (d. 12th March, 1935).

BELL, Kathleen Mary (d. 25th July, 1994) Nee Stevenson. Wife of L L Bell.

BELL, L L (d. 19th October, 1986). New Zealand Medical Corps.

BROWN, Margaret Jean (1907 – 1977). Nee Bell. And her husband James Stewart Brown.

BUTKEVITSCH, Leonore (d. 2nd May, 1984). Born in Tallinn, Estonia in October, 1893.

CAIN, Catherine Rubina (d. 5th February, 1904). Age 2. Daughter of John Henry and Robina CAIN (below).

CAIN, Douglas (d. 22nd March, 1911). Third son of John Henry and Robina CAIN.

CAIN, Frank (d. 11th February, 1990). Also his wife Agnes Ellen (Nance) d. 27th November, 2002.

CAIN, John Henry (d. 12th August, 1957). Born Ballasalla, Isle of Man.

CAIN, Robina (d. 5th October, 1942). Wife of John Henry CAIN (above).

CAIN, William James (d. 28th December, 1932). Age 79.

CAMPBELL, Annette Mae (d. 19th June, 1986). Age 35.

CHAPLIN, Clifton Hembrough (d. 7th November, 1993)

CHUDLEIGH, Edward R (1841 – 1920). Son of Reverend N F Chudleigh.

CHUDLEIGH, Mabel (1855 – 1928). Wife of E R Chudleigh.

CLARKE, Adam Taylor (d. October, 1857). Drowned.

CLOUGH, Abner (d. 1867). Age 1 month. Son of Abner Clough, a real local character, who was brought by his father, Jimmy Robinson Clough, to Homebush in 1851, along with his brother George. Jimmy was the first white settler in Canterbury having arrived in Akaroa in 1837 on a whaling ship. Abner’s mother was a Maori princess, Puai, of Ngai Tahu descent. Landmarks named after Abner include Abner’s Head and Abner’s Pool.

CONNELLY, A W (d. 30th October, 1966). NZEF.

DEANS, Alister Austen OBE (d. 18th October, 2011)

DEANS, Elizabeth Maire (d. 11th May, 2004). Wife of Austen for 57 years. Mother to 7 boys.

DEANS, Samuel David (d. 1984). Age 3.5 weeks.

DENNISTOUN, George Hamilton (d. 4th June, 1977). And his wife Beatrix (nee Pyne).

FINLAYSON, Peter (d. 18th January, 1898). Killed by his brother, Robert. Tragic accident?

FOSTER, Elva Gertrude (d. 2nd November, 1927). Daughter of Walter and Ivy  Foster.

FOX, Sylvia Sibbald (d. 6th October, 1992)

GAVIN, A R (d. 16th May, 1986)

GLASSON, Francis Archibald (d. 27th August, 2004). And partner Darryl John NOLAN.

HAWDON, Arthur J (d. 29th March, 1920).

HAWDON, Elizabeth S (d. 11th September, 1921). Died at Timaru. Daughter of Dr Alfred Charles Barker.

HAWDON, Emma Fay (d. 1935). Age 61. Only daughter of Arthur and Elizabeth Hawdon.

IRVINE, Helen Clarissa (d. 19th November, 1866). Also Robert Earnest Irvine (d. 31st July 1869). Age 18 (?) months.

JENKINS, Maria (d. 10th October, 1932). Age 80.

JENKINS, William (d. ? ) Age 6 months. Son of Margaret and William.

JOHNSTONE, Francis Findlay (Phil) (d. 19th July, 1957). Shepherd on Mount Peel. Also his wife, Mary Eliza (nee RAE) d. 30th May, 1926).

JOPSON, Ryan Kelvin (d. 31st May, 2009). Died while hunting.

KELLAND, John Chalmers (d. 9th September, 1973). Age 37. Owned Stewpoint Station 1964 – 1973.

LANE, Frank (Vicar) (1904 – 1954).

LANGFORD, Alfred George (1907 – 1984)

LANGFORD, Eric Charles (1910 – 1985).

LANGFORD, Florence (1881 – 1963).

LANGFORD, George Neil (1860 – 1943). Worked at the station.

LINDROOS, Philip John (d. 31 January, 1999).

LYSAGHT, Frederick Villebois (d. 26th May, 1937)

LYSAGHT, Mary Emily Dyke (d. January 1916)

MACDONALD, Janet Catherine (d. 11th December, 1969). “Devoted 46 years of her life to the Hugh Acland family”.

MACFARLANE, Adrienne Maude (d. 25th February, 1950)

MAISTER, Ethel Olivia (d. 2nd September, 1893). Age 11.

MAISTER, George Sutton (d. 13th June, 1930). Age 74.

MAISTER, Gilbert Sutton (d. 31st May, 1909). Age 16.

MAISTER, Rosamond Mary Herdman (d. 9th September, 1908). Age 51.

MARSH, Edith Ngaio (1895 – 1982)

MEWS, Ethel (1900 – 1982). Widow of S H Mews of Subukia, Kenya. Loved friend of Kit Acland. “She requested her ashes be sent to Mt Peel from England”.

MITTEN, Michael (d. 20th July, 1888). Mount Peel station manager. Died age 47.

MULING, Anita (d. 20th September, 1990). Born in Riga, Imperial Russia, in 1903.

MULING, Val (Vladimir) (1896 – 1961). Russian inscription.Transliteration: GDE DEN‟ V KRASE ZEMNOY SGOREL SKOROPOSTIZHNO. Translation: `This is the place where the day in its earthly beauty burned out`. More information can be found here.

NIXON, John Michael Stuart Nixon (1919 – 1979). Also his daughter Janie “Lady Jane” (1949 – 1989).

PARR, James (d. 29th June, 1916).

PARR, Joan McKinnon (d. 18th March, 1925). Age 2 years and 2 weeks.

PAVEY, John (d. 9th September, 1953). Also his wife Elizabeth Evelyn Dyke (d. 12th August, 1975).

PICKETT, Thomas (d. 13th February, 1914). For forty years worked faithfully and well on the Mount Peel Station. Born at Carrick-On-Suir, Ireland. Died Christchurch.

PRITCHETT, Arthur James Delaberr (d. 16th August, 1882). Age 24. Eldest son of James Pigott and Ellen Mary Pritchett (nee D’Ewes) of Darlington, England.

RAE – “To Mother from the RAE family”

RAE, Donald Alfred (d. 28th August, 1915). Canterbury Mounted Rifles. Killed in action at Gallipoli. Died at sea aboard HMHS Maheno. Age 23. Also his brother, William John RAE (d. 7th May, 1917). Killed in action in France. Sons of James and Eliza RAE.

RAE, James (d. 17th November, 1915). Age 69 years. Also his wife Eliza d. 11th September, 1925. Also his young daughter, Gladys Lucy RAE (age 6.5) died 30th October, 1904.

RAE, John (1851 – 1940). Son of Simon and Mary.

RAYMOND, Oskar Eigil (d. 24th December, 2004). Age 11.5 months.

RITCHIE, James (d. 8th May, 1898). Also his wife Mary Hannah RITCHIE (d. 10th February, 1919).

ROBERTSON, Ethel Phyllis (d. 22nd October, 2010). Nee Langford. And her husband Leonard Ross Robertson (d. 16th January, 2009).

SMITH, Miriel (1956 – 2010) and Deborah SMITH (1959 – 1960).

SMITH, Robin Handley Stockley, Reverend Canon  (d. 14th September, 2010).

SMITH, Robina Henry (d. 4th August, 1898). Age 50.

SPENCER, Archibald Claud Douglas (1861 – 1929). Also his daughter Harriet Dyke.

STEVENSON, Fred – tree planted 12 July 1984, by his daughter Anne.

TALLENTS, Imogen Margaret (d. 6th February, 2008). Born London 19th May, 1925. Descendent of Thomas Cubitt, master builder of London.

TAYLOR, Frank Gordon John (d. 20th December, 1993).

THOMSON, Lucy Alice Dyke (d. 6th August 1903). And infant. Also her husband Oliver Scott Kerr Thomson (d. 21st May, 1928).

THOMSON, Paul Acland (d. 29 March, 1976). Son of Oliver and Lucy Thomson.

TIMPSON, L A (d. 21st July, 1961). Canterbury Regiment.

UNKNOWN (Male) – Drowned in the Rangitata 1883

WALLACE, James Ormond (d. 8 September, 2003). Son of James and Eve Wallace (nee Acland). Brother of Antonia and Henrietta.

WEAVER, Nancy Acland (d. 3 May, 1985). Daughter of Oliver and Lucy Thomson and wife of John Yardley Weaver.


One thought on “Mount Peel Cemetery – Church of the Holy Innocents

  1. How lovely to see a picture of Michael Mitten’s headstone. He was my great great great Uncle, his sister Sarah Frances was married to my great great grandfather, George Buchanan of ‘Bluecliffs’ and, later, of Timaru. I am looking forward to researching this branch of the family, and especially to finding why Michael died at such an early age. A great site. Thank you.

    Posted by Vicky Alexander | November 1, 2014, 9:44 am

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