The Missing Treasure of Titirangi

In the fascinating Memoirs section of Marc Bonny’s book Titirangi – Fringe of Heaven, there is a story that has got me wishing I owned a metal detector.

Both W.N. (Bill) Bishop and Essie Bishop mention a hoarder that farmed on land leased from Essie Bishop in the late 1890s and early 1900s – ‘was reputed to have his savings in a time he hid, supposedly under a large rate tree or in a hollow log. When he was taken ill and taken to the Auckland hospital and was dying, he sent for Chappie Bishop, presumably to tell him of the secret cache. However he died before Chappie’s arrival, so the secret was never revealed. A frantic search by the neighbours, which culminated in the demolition of his house, proved fruitless. Generations of Bishops and others kept searching but nothing was ever found.

Now the Bishop’s were the major original land owner in the area, so knowing this was on Bishop land doesn’t give us a lot of clues – for example here is a photo of Gus Bishop making hay right next to the Titirangi Hotel (now Lopdell House/Te Uru).

I recently discovered another photo on the local history online site that shows the original house – with the lower wall boards already removed.

Does anyone know where this was? Has the treasure still never been found?

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