Our changed landscape: Castle Rock, Te Tihi o Kahukura

imageIt is odd the things that you miss when they are gone.  I live in Heathcote Valley and each time I drive home I look up at Castle Rock, or what was Castle Rock, and I always have a twinge of sadness. Ti Kōuka Whenua tells the story of  Castle Rock:

Te Tihi o Kahukura, meaning “The citadel of Kahukura” or “the pinnacle of the rainbow”, is the prominent outcrop of rock punctuating a tight corner of the Summit Road that winds above Ferrymead.

Kahukura, after whom the rock is named, was also known as Uenuku in the North Island. He was the spirit guardian invoked by tribal tohunga and appealed to for advice and omens in times of war. Each hapū had an image of Kahukura, often a small carved wooden figure, which was kept in a tapu place.

To call it “prominent” is an overstatement now, and I find it hard to get my bearings as this lovely big outcrop has gone, sliding perilously down the hill to land at the bottom of the Bridle Path.

The Gimblett collection has a number of photos of Castle Rock, and this collection – along with all the other hundreds of photos that we now have online – is going to be  an incredibly valuable resource to help us look back as we look forward to rebuild.