About | Hemsworth Estate

About the Estate

Built in the early Edwardian era, Hemsworth Estate truly stops time. For over one hundred and thirty years it has been a space to enjoy, grow up and celebrate including milestone birthdays, and weddings for over three generations. Step back in time and visit a world of old world charm reminiscent of your grandmother inviting you over for afternoon tea. 

Five minutes from Ashburton and only an hour away from Christchurch, Hemsworth Estate is one of the closest retreats for any private occasion. Set on fifty eight acres of land, and originally home to the first Hampshire Sheep stud flock in the country, the family has enjoyed it’s private, nurturing respite with only the sounds of nature to interrupt.

the history

For almost 100 years Hemsworth Estate has been a family home of celebration from birthday parties to weddings, curating special memories almost as easily as its rare and precious items.

The name was inspired by  a family venture four generations back, on holiday to England. Jack and Freda Guinness’s next venture was discovered – bringing the first Hampshire sheep to New Zealand. They sourced the sheep at Hemsworth Manor in Dorset and brought the name home to bring luck to their new estate.

Hemsworth Estate has housed four generations of families and celebrations including Diana Guinness’s wedding in 1953 and Margaret “Margie” Wallace’s in 1985. It has also celebrated birthday parties from age ten right up until eighty. 

After extensive earthquake repairs by JKF Homes, Hemsworth Estate is now open to the public for bookings, the current fourth generation custodian Rebecca Hulse is enthused about the new opportunities this brings. Third generation custodian Margie said “We have had so many happy memories here, we wanted to share this opportunity to celebrate special occasions with others.” Rebecca added “There has been more need of celebration and happy memories now than ever before.”


Hemsworth Estate seems to be designed for celebrating. Set in a sheltered circle of centennial trees, the lawns and gardens are open and inviting for any kind of event. 

An event at Hemsworth Estate is full of little, intimate moments. From start to finish, the planning process has been detailed and personal, the plan of the day well-thought and prepared, and the celebration itself relaxed and exuberant.

A friend of the family when commenting on the public opening said “Hemsworth has a history of entertaining and laughter has echoed through the rooms for years, so it’s great that we can bring that back, the house has buckets of character and all we are doing is allowing it to live again”

about the family

Hemsworth Estate has a deep and memory-filled history. 

Rebecca Hulse is the current custodian, managing the day-to-day affairs of the estate, as well as using her 10 year expertise in international event planning to make current-day celebrations effortless. She is joined by her partner in managing the estate. 

Previous generations of stewards have a rich and varied history that traces back to Arthur Guinness II that invented the beer of the same name . Mr John Charles and Florence Winifred Guinness bought the lifestyle farm in the 1954 for their retirement from a larger farm in Ealing called Farmleigh. Mr Guinness was the fourth son of Edward Roland Guinness Senior of Timaru, a well-known pioneer of South Canterbury and one of the founders of Pyne, Gould, Guinness Ltd (now PGG-Wrightson).

Captain Douglas Wallace and Mrs Diana Wallace (neé Guinness) were the next caretakers of the estate, who continued to develop this Hemsworth stud. Captain “Doug” Wallace operated a Navy Merchant ship during the war, and Diana “Kin” Guinness (at the time) was a Land Girl along with her sister Patricia “Sheen” Guinness. Mrs Wallace is still remembered by many of the Ashburton community today for her famous Red Town Jacket, the beautiful kittens she bred and her quick temper. One of the family’s favourite celebrations is her eightieth birthday which was celebrated under a marquee in the rose garden of Hemsworth.

Their granddaughter, Margie Hulse (neé Wallace) enjoyed her wedding on the grounds of the estate. She described it as like a step back in history and tradition. Celebrating her reception with over 200 guests on the lawn in the gardens where she grew up playing in was only adding to her wonderful memories there. Margie and Rebecca started work in 2017 to renovate the Edwardian treasure they both loved to a commercial standard. Together they opened Hemsworth Estate to the public in 2018. Margie sadly passed away in March 2021.

Rebecca hopes to see Hemsworth Estate be a space where memories are shared not only for her and her family but for anyone wishing to celebrate in quiet tranquillity, savouring the moment. When Rebecca and her partner aren’t hosting, you can find them working on restoring the farm block to it’s functional glory, tending to her her vegetable garden or experimenting with a new recipe with her latest fresh produce.


From the moment of arrival, Hemsworth Estate opens its doors wide and spares no expense in welcoming its guests.

High Tea

A decadent experience for the taste buds filled with nostalgic tradition and quality finishings, and of course, fresh scones.

Events & Weddings

A celebration at Hemsworth Estate is full of little, intimate moments. From start to finish, the planning process is detailed and personal.