Dudley’s Cottage is actually two cottages built approximately 17 years apart. The first cottage to be built (front cottage) is sometimes known as Butlers Cottage because it was built by William Butler in approximately 1880. Butler, an Irishman, was one of the first to arrive at the Arrow at the onset of the 1862 goldrush. He was a Wagoner by trade when the transportation of necessities to miners could make a man very rich. He settled in Arrowtown and became a farmer, store keeper, carrier and the proprietor of the Ballarat Hotel where the Arrowtown Bakery now stands. Butler Green is named after him.
This cottage is one of the oldest stone cottages in Arrowtown. William Butler built it here strategically located at the end of Buckingham Street as the last building before continuing on to Macetown. The perfect location for a supplies store.
He was known to be successful in his undertakings and died in 1887 from abscess of the liver, finally expiring to the ‘wasting disease’. He was survived by his wife Mary Jane Butler and son Kingsley. Kingsley later sold the property to George Dudley in about 1911.
Until 2004 the cottage was owned by the Dudley / Garbutt family, members of which still reside in Arrowtown and have fond memories of growing up in the cottage.
The current reincarnation of the Cottage was born in 2009 by current owner, Scott Stevens. He saw the potential to transform the then run down cottage into it's past glory and to celebrate Arrowtown's gold mining past. Adaptive use has long been recognised as the best way to preserve historic features and the proposal was supported by the Historic Places Trust of New Zealand and the Wakatipu Historical society. An extensive renovation followed, making the building weatherproof, replacing rotten walls and floors and complete re-wiring and re-plumbing. After removal of the 1970s pine composite wall and ceiling coverings, the 1880s original building materials were luckily found to till be in good shape. Any additional materials used to patch the original floor and walls where needed were recycled from the historical Arthurs Point Pub.
Dudley's Cottage is now your gateway to the joy of gold panning as well as the historic Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, located next door. Please click here for more information on the Chinese 'Village'.