Matamata Heritage Trail
E C (Ned) Firth planted a Sequoiadendron giganteum near the Scout Hall in August 1939 in memory of his father Josiah Clifton Firth, the first European landowner of the Matamata Estate. In 1977 after the removal of the Sequoia because of disease the memorial stone was repositioned near the oak and plane trees behind the Catholic Church. These two trees are thought to have been planted by Firth’s employees in the 1880s.
The first small Church of the Holy Angels was built in 1909. It was enlarged in 1924 and in 1951, and from 1981 until 1983 it was extensively remodeled and enlarged. A feature of the church is the large Memorial Window, which is made up of stained glass windows from the old church. These were carefully removed and reassembled and the accompanying plaques were attached to an adjacent brick pier.
Another plaque commemorating the visit to the Matamata District of Bishop Pompallier in 1840 can be seen in the garden in front of the church.
The first All Saints Church was built in 1908 on the site of the present church. In 1957 it was moved to its present location adjacent to Centennial Drive and served as the parish church until the dedication of the new, brick, All Saints Church in 1962. The entrance and bell tower were removed and the old church became a church lounge.
This is situated between the scout/Guide Hall and All Saints Anglican Church. The entry feature incorporates a group of three large Ahuroa Ignimbrite rocks from the Hinuera Valley (age 0.9 million years). A plaque commemorates a hundred years since the Matamata Settlement Subdivision when this Plantation Reserve was first surveyed in 1904. A carved sign has been placed in front of the rocks.
Turn left at Broadway; go past the church and cross Hohaia Street.
This school is the oldest public building still standing in Matamata. From 1900 primary school classes were held in makeshift accommodation elsewhere in the town until a school room was built in 1905 on this site. Another room was added in 1907. H J Moore-Jones was the first headmaster until 1925. The two rooms with an interconnecting porch are still used today although they have been added to and extensively remodelled. Oak, totara, plane and chestnut trees are registered on the district plan.