Ti­rau’s Cas­tle Pamela is up for sale

South Waikato News - - Property - KELSEY WILKIE

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.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIR­FAX NZ

It took Pamela and Kelvin Baker two years to build the cas­tle.

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