Isel House

Isel House and Park

Isel House and Park- Overview

Isel House and park came into being at the hands of an Englishman named Thomas Marsden, a watchmaker by profession, and his wife who came to Nelson in the December of 1842; however it was 6 years later when the prospects of the house began to form. In 1948, Mr. Marsden became the largest landowner in the whole of Nelson province when he bought 376 hectares of land at Stoke. Later he built the house on the corner of Sussex Street and Selwyn Place and set himself up as a watchmaker. Nelson City Council in 1960 bought the property for public use, which later acted as the fuel in the development of the Green meadows playing fields.

The Marsden Collection

The rare and beautiful Marsden Collection consists of 18th and 19th century antique furniture, glassware and dishes- including porcelains of the likes of Sevres, Dresden and Worcester. It also features Marsden Paintings and Book Collection; the latter dates from 1773 to the early 1920s and covers topics like natural history and exploration of the Pacific etc.

Isel’s Root Cellar

The Root Cellar building sits in the original kitchen garden and is as old as the house itself- and hence dates back to the late 1800s.

Until 1960s, even after refrigeration became the house hold name, the cellar was used for storing produce; it was indispensible not only because the property was really large but also because the volume of produce grown was also humongous. The cellar has ten steps which lead to a storage area, and being underground it provides a cool ambiance for the produce. The ‘hanging’ roof and the mesh windows were also designed to promote airflow and to keep the temperature inside the structure cool.

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