One hundred years of Duncannon

Duncannon’s ‘House on the Mount’ celebrated its 100th birthday in July 2012. Over the years the property has been a private residence, lifestyle block, camping ground and now a large accommodation complex for seasonal workers in Marlborough.


Built in 1912

John Brown, the original owner of the land that Duncannon is now situated on, moved to New Zealand from Worcestershire, England in 1876. He was elected as councillor to the Blenheim Borough Council in 1905 and in 1912 had the main house built for his wife Jessie. The house was originally named ‘Clifton’, built on 4 ½ acres of land and boasted 8 bedrooms, bathroom, scullery, pantry, wash house, tool shed, orchard, garden, lawn and paddocks!


Renamed Duncannon in 1915

In 1915, Billy O’Donohue, an Irishman, the second owner of the property renamed the house ‘Duncannon’ which translates to ‘House on the Mount’ describing how the house sits perched up higher than the rest of the property. Billy worked as a land agent and had purchased the property for lifestyle purposes.


Opens as a campground

The O’Donohue family owned the property for many decades until the 80’s then it was purchased by Terry and Mary Crispin who operated it as a campground facility. Under their management the site developed into a well known place for short and long term staying travelers. The Crispin family lived here for 26 years.


Developed for Backpacker & Seasonal Worker Accommodation

Operating since May 2009 and developed from concept by David and Kimberly Lewis after recognizing a need in the Marlborough region for quality seasonal worker accommodation. The Lewis family operated out of Duncannon House located on-site. Over the next 7 years Duncannon grew into more than just accommodation and offers many additional services and facilities designed to ensure that both clients and guests requirements are well taken care of.



In May 2016 Hortus partnered with Duncannon to provide quality living for their seasonal employees. It is our shared view that staff who are happy and well rested are more productive and content in their work. Here at Duncannon we strive to provide a comfortable, safe and friendly environment for our guests, offering a warm welcome and bettering their experience of New Zealand.

Significant improvements have already been made to the communal areas with further plans in the pipeline. The partnership will also strengthen connections for guests seeking work.


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