Tirau’s Castle Pamela is up for sale
It was a gift from a dying man to his wife.
Except he survived and now the castle on the hill that has overlooked Tirau for almost 17 years is for sale.
The grandiose structure that sits comfortably amidst green fields was built by Pamela and Kelvin Baker.
It was Kelvin’s gift to his wife to house her thousands of dolls.
He named it after her. He says he built it for her back in 1998 after they moved from Taranaki, where they owned a business making silos.
Back then, Kelvin had a growth on his heart that doctors would not find for a few more years. He was dying. ‘‘We thought I would have to raise the children myself,’’ Pamela said. ’’So we thought if we move to an area with a lot more people ... I could make a living and finish raising the children.’’
Pamela had been collecting the dolls for decades. It started with a doll hospital and transformed into a museum in their garage.
Once the castle was built, Kelvin got a reprieve - the tumour was successfully removed from his heart - and the museum grew. It now includes toys, trains and teddy bears, all set up in displays that tell a curious story.
Naming it Castle Pamela was Kelvin’s idea - to Pamela’s surprise on the opening day in 2000. He’d draped Pamela’s good sheets over the front of the building.
The new owners can rename it whatever they like, she said.
Deciding to sell it was tough. It first went on the market in 2010. Pamela said they later decided they weren’t ready to sell, but now they are.
They want to retire - they plan to travel around the country fishing. The 825-square-metre property sits on 2.88ha over two titles. It is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Hamilton through private treaty, with offers closing on April 6.
The toys can be included in the sale.
The grounds include landscaped gardens, a moat with goldfish and extensive parking.
Also included in the sale is a 241sqm house with three bedrooms and an adjoining large double garage/workshop.
Resource consent has also been granted to use the premises as a large-scale hospitality and function venue.
It took Pamela and Kelvin Baker two years to build the castle.