Grays Hills Station History

Grays Hills Station was established in 1858 by George Gould (a Christchurch financier). Mr Gould took out a licence for ‘Run 237’, which comprised 30,000 acres.

The run was occupied by William A Gray, the son of a curate of Castle Carey, Somerset, England. The run boundaries were Haldon on the South, Grampian on the east, and Sawdon on the north. The western boundary was the Tekapo River. Gray did not stay long and at his leaving, control of the station handed over to John Hayhurst, with John Burgess as manager.

In 1867 George Gould, S.S. and J Field, and the Trust and Agency Company of Australia Limited were partners and then in 1871 Gould again became the sole owner of the station. In 1878 Gould sold the station to E.S. Fletcher and William Shirres. The station past hands again in 1880 when it was sold to Captain Baldwin. Baldwin held the station for only a few months before it was sold on to Alexander Grant (from Stirling, Scotland) in 1881. Mr Grant increased the area of the station to approx. 60,000 acres.

In 1908 Alexander Grant took his son, James William Grant, into partnership. Alexander Grant then retired to Timaru with his wife building a new home in two acres of garden on Wai-iti Road, which they named ‘Aigantighe’ (home of welcome). In 1956, Aigantighe was gifted to Timaru by the Grant family and founded as the town’s public art museum, The Aigantighe Gallery.

During James Grant’s absence at the 1914-18 War, Donald McRae managed Grays Hills. When James Grant eventually retired to Timaru in 1948, he sold Grays Hills to David Urquhart. The Grays Hills Station has remained in the Urquhart family since.


Stud Principals: Sherie & Mark Urquhart
Gray’s Hills Station, New Zealand

Established: 1962 from Flock 116 (est 1938)
Stud Classer: A D Paterson
Ewe Numbers: 550 MA ewes, 100 2ths
Sale Method: Private. End Feb/Mar


Area: 22,000 hectares 
Rainfall: 400mm<
Stock Numbers: 6,200 ewes, 4,500 MA wethers, 1,000 wether hoggets, 2,000 ewe hoggets, 300 Angus cows, 50 replacement heifers


Runs 5500 commercial ewes under dryland conditions. 1200 are mated to terminal sires (Suffolk & Border Leicester). 3000 replacement hoggets and 4500 MA wethers are run on areas less suitable for lambing. Lucerne hay and grain are fed for long cold winters.

You are here: Home About Us History