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More of Warkworth’s history uncovered

Published: 2 October 2018
A section of the water race found in Warkworth.

Researchers working on Warkworth’s history have uncovered new evidence of an old sawmill, dam and water race in the area.

While there is little to be seen today of the mill or dam, the water race is visible for almost 400 metres. Browns Mill on the northern side of the Mahurangi River operated from 1844 to 1865, powered by a waterwheel fed from a race that ran from an upstream dam.

Rodney Ward Councillor Greg Sayers is excited by the discovery of another piece of the town’s link to Mahurangi River.

“Most people know the river was navigated by canoes, sailing vessels and steamers, but this goes further, demonstrating how water-power was used by local industry.

“Mill Stream, Mill Lane, Brown Road, Palmer Road and Millstream Place are all reminders of the area’s early industries.

“The find is doubly exciting because the sawmill was built by Warkworth’s founder John Anderson Brown.”

Heritage places are being identified for inclusion in a structure plan being prepared for Warkworth. Because the mill site, water race and dam are just outside the structure plan area, the next step is determining if they meet the criteria for inclusion in the Auckland Unitary Plan Heritage Schedule.