The church is a popular wedding venue, but began it’s life in the mid 1800’s –
The Church of St. Bride’s is of an eye-pleasing design that belongs to many of the churches planted by the pioneers, whose first care, after establishing their homes, was to set up a place of worship in their midst. Built of totara, its shingled roof dark with age, its spire lifting above the tree-tops, it stands picture-like on a green knoll in the midst of its little churchyard. Walk round its walls and count the rifle loopholes in its sides—narrow slits that remined one that the place was once a fort as well as a church. There are fifty-four of those rifle-slits, now neatly plugged with timber or covered with tin and painted over. The cruciform design of the building exactly lent itself to fortification, and gave the defenders the necessary flanking bastions. When the Mauku men erected their stockade of split logs, small whole tree-trunks and heavy slabs, 10 feet high, they planted the timbers alongside one another close up against the walls of the buildings. The openings for rifle-fire were cut through walls and stockade; the garrison therefore could point their long Enfields through the double defence. These loopholes, at regular intervals all round the church, at about 5 feet from the floor, are 9 inches in length vertically by about 3 inches in width; the cuts in the palisade were necessarily a little wider to give the rifles play.
The area, like much of New Zealand, has it’s own local history and
Even before the Waikato War, Mauku, first settled in 1856, was a fairly-well-peopled locality, when the site of the present Town of Pukekohe was still a forest of puriri and rimu.