Bridge House Lodge
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About Bridgehouse Lodge

Since 1854, the iconic Bridgehouse has served the local community for generations. From its humble beginnings as a timber mill, the Bridgehouse now offers its patrons high quality food and drink on a relaxing riverside setting, but also boasts comfortable and affordable accommodation.


The Bridgehouse Lodge is a piece of Warkworth history. No one seems to know exactly when the Bridgehouse was constructed but there is little doubt that it was the first building in Warkworth.

The founder of Warkworth, John Anderson Brown was a builder and an entrepreneur. He was attracted to the Mahurangi area by the abundance of Kauri trees. He set up a timber mill in the 1850's on a site just below the bridge on the left bank of the river. He had already bought 153 acres in 1853 for a little over 68 pounds, and sections were sold at auction in 1854. The quarter acre lots sold for 6 pounds apiece.

Anderson Brown lived at the Bridgehouse with his house keeper, Mrs. Chandler. In 1859 a postal service was started, with Bridgehouse as the post office. The mail went over land and sea to Orewa then on foot by the mail man to the North Shore. There was also a flour mill built opposite the timber. The original Bridge House is in the top right. A bone mill made fertilizer further upstream at the next falls. (Walk on the path upstream from Bridgehouse and you will come to its location). Hence came Warkworth's early nick name "Brown's Mill".

John Anderson Brown only lived fourteen more years after the first land was sold in Warkworth – he died in 1867 and was buried on Church Hill, overlooking the town he had founded.

Bridgehouse has been altered and modified considerably over the years. The original building that John Anderson Brown built was replaced by a larger one sometime around 1900.

A number of businesses came and went from this building. For many years the Lennin family ran a bakery at the back of the Bridgehouse and sold their bread from the little shop out the front. The Lennins also ran Bridgehouse – with the best fresh bread and baking for their guests. Some people will also remember a fishing shop, a Mexican takeaways and an ice cream parlour on this site.

The terrace which now sits on this site is a great spot to soak up Warkworth's riverside ambiance while enjoying great food and a few drinks.

In the 1930's, major alterations were made to Bridgehouse. The original structure was retained but substantially added to. A large new wing was added to the west which contained eight more rooms. The frontage of the original building was also extended and Tudor style detailing was added.

The exterior of the Bridgehouse has remained largely unchanged up to the present day – minus the Tudor panelling.

In the early 1980's another addition was made to Bridgehouse. Six more rooms were added on the second story in a new south wing. At the same time a conference and function room was added at the rear of the existing building.

We hope you enjoy the character and ambiance that have become part of the Bridgehouse Lodge over the past one hundred and fifty years.

function and conference facilities
we cater for big/small weddings
Warkworth restaurant and bar