Designed by Thomas Turnbull and built in 1901 for the Sisters of Mercy, this historic Victorian Convent was originally located next to Saint Mary's Church in Blenheim. It provided nineteen bedrooms for the nuns, a library, music room, sewing room, office and a beautiful chapel upstairs on the first floor.
Native timbers were extensively used in the construction including Matai, Rimu and Kauri. One of the many splendid examples of Victorian craftsmanship is the substantial carved staircase, constructed entirely from Kauri.
In 1994, the Convent was moved in five pieces to its present location in Rapaura, Marlborough. The task of restoration then began under the guidance of architect Sir Michael Fowler. And the property operated as Old St Mary’s Convent B&B until May 2016 when it was purchased by Marlborough Tour Company.
Extensive refurbishment, including adding a large commercial kitchen and increasing from 5 rooms to 10 suites, is currently being undertaken and the property will open as The Marlborough Lodge in November 2016 – a luxury lodge offering dinner, bed and breakfast.
The Lodge Chapel
The Lodge Chapel, formerly St. Michael's, is a charming little Victorian wooden deconsecrated chapel situated in the garden. It has unique stained glass windows and may be used for wedding services of up to 40, events or for a moment of quiet contemplation.