Lagmhor of long ago

Last year Lagmhor School celebrated its 50th Jubilee in June. Although the school itself has a relevantly short history, the name Lagmhor has been around for quite some time in connection with the estate once owned by George Buckley. Before that, it was an even bigger property obtained by the Mclean Brothers.
1. Laghmor Estate was well known for its horses..png
When the brothers’ partnership dissolved, the land was divided and John Mclean continued to farm that portion still known as Lagmhor. John later moved to ‘Redcastle’, Oamaru and his property formed the nucleus of St Kevin’s college.

2 Given the Scottish heritage of the Mclean’s.jpg

John bequeathed his property to his nephew George Buckley, whose family retained the property for many years. The estate housed a small community with a number of families living on the property.
3 Some of the working horses.jpg

George’s son also called George, and often simply referred to by his initials GAM, was heavily involved in the military.
4 Lagmhor was a model of diversity.jpg


He was a lieutenant in the British army, serving in India. When he returned to New Zealand he was an active member of the Canterbury Yeomanry and many camps for both volunteers and cadets were held on his property.


5 Not all the workers were focused on agriculture.jpg

The estate was subdivided a number of times and a strong community evolved – requiring such amenities as a school. These images give some idea of the community that existed at the time of the Estate.

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By Kathleen Stringer.


  1. Lagmhor estate was well known for its horses. The 1903 cyclopaedia states the estate had about 140. While some were working hacks and heavy horses, others were for riding. The Lagmhor hunt was a social outing for many Mid Canterbury equestrians.
  2. Given the Scottish heritage of the Mclean’s, it isn’t surprising to see such a fine collection of highland men outside the first Lagmhor homestead. Left to Right: D McLean, A McKay, B Norman, M R Lyon, McKay jnr.
  3. Some of the working horses ready for a days work.
  4. Lagmhor was a model of diversity – having crops, cattle and sheep. Here, the large shearing gang pose for a photo.
  5. Not all the workers were focused on agriculture. Here the cooks stand proudly in front of the cookhouse, with children and their nurse sitting in front.
  6. Permanent workers on the estate were able to live in their own house. An unknown family pose in front of their home.
  7. GAM Buckley in his study. Although double exposed it shows the man well – his passion for horses, his interest in things military and his business acumen.
  8. Hats off gentlemen. Possibly a group of volunteers, as GAM is in his uniform. The image is very much the officer with ‘his men’.

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