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Pompalier House

Waterfront, Russell, New Zealand
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Ranked #3 of 16 attractions in Russell
Type: Historic Sites
13 visitor photos
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99 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Geelong, Australia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

Wandering along the seafront in charming Russell, we came across this interesting building, Pompallier. $10 NZD entry fee got us into the property. Very interesting history attached and has been restored to its original form and function of tanning and printing. Excellent old building and grounds and a tour will fill in the blanks - a must see in Russell

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Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Without the guided tour, we might have spent 15 minutes there and moved on. However, the tour really brought the place to life! When it was done, we couldn't believe how much we have learned--and not only about Russell and New Zealand. A must see. Maybe the best part of an amazing day spent on this side of the Bay.

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Russell, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

Fantastic place to experience a slice of history in Russell. Rammed earth building a stunner! Worth a visit!

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Russell, New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

This is a gem in the bay. It is $10 to enter the property. you are given a very detailed guided tour. The whole history of the area is told to you and the factory (tannery and printery) is demonstrated. The gardens are beautiful (also from the 1800,s) and if you are lucky you will get to make a print... More

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Russell Bay of Islands New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

Pompallier can be enjoyed from many differing perspectives. Architecturally fascinating as is built from rammed earth in the fashion of French colonial buildings around Lille. As an avid reader the, printing presses and composotory showed the dedication these early priests had for introducing the Maori to the written word. Good way to win over hearts and minds to Catholicism too... More

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Middx
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

Interesting, historical, sympathetically restored and staff are very knowledgable. Includes working examples of leather-tanning.

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Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
39 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

This was a very interesting tour of about 45 minutes. From the tannery to the printing press to the bindary itself, there was a lot of information available about the time and how the french published the bible in maori. Clever dudes

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Yealmpton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
14 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014 via mobile

Definitely a lovely shell of a building but you can see that from outside without paying. We had been to Kemp House and were hoping for the equivalent Catholic missionary story here but were very disappointed. Instead it is a working description of various crafts including leather making, book binding and printing. If these are your interests it would be... More

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Eastern
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
5 attraction reviews
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Rarely have we had such an articulate and informed tourist guide! One might expect a history of tanning and printing to be tedious, but given the historical context, the knowledgable demonstrations and the superb site, it was fascinating! Don't miss this.

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Plattsburgh, New York, USA
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

The museum is named after the first Catholic bishop, who came to Russell, NZ in 1840. At the house which is now the museum, the priests printed books in the Maori language. As I understand it, until then the Maori did not have a written language, and the French priests worked with Maori leaders putting their oral language into writing.... More

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