Be surprised by the size of sheep farming operations in the Teviot Valley 130 years ago, and enjoy a heart warming tale about a lonely gravestone.
Standing in a paddock like a medieval stone relic, the remains of the Teviot Woolshed (erected 1870) look as though they could have been anything from ancient barracks to a factory or prison.In fact, the structure was once the largest woolshed in the southern hemisphere. Measuring 137 by 47.3 metres it could hold more than 8,000 sheep. Stories suggest the shed came from England, where it had been a railway station before being dismantled and shipped all the way to New Zealand.
In 1924 much of the shed was destroyed by fire, however the stone walls with rounded facade and arched windows remain today. It's very easy to visualise the structure with its vast roof still in place and imagine either steam trains or long lines of sheep coming and going through the lofty archways.
Nearby, at the Horseshoe Bend diggings on the banks of the Clutha River, two much smaller stone structures have a different tale to tell. In an isolated spot two gravestones lie side-by side, one for William Rigney and the other for 'Somebody's Darling'. Local legend tells us that in 1865 William Rigney discovered the body of a young man on the riverbank following a flood. He arranged an inquest and burial for the unknown man, erecting a headstone with the words 'Somebody's Darling Lies Buried Here'. Upon his death in January 1912, Rigney was buried as requested beside the anonymous grave.