Burnt Papa

A burnt papa conglomerate which has some concrete mixed in with it.
See full details

Object detail

Production place
Credit line
In addition to the problems posed by rugged topography, in some inland areas of Taranaki, there is no hard rock suitable for road making. In the past, fired papa mudstone , like this piece from the Mount Messenger area, provided a cheap and innovative way to surface roads in the area. Papa was converted to brick in roadside kilns, and then spread on to the roads.
Small kilns were constructed on the sides of the road. 'Face kilns' were made in cavities that were blasted in the sides of the papa cliff, and built up with alternate layers of timber and clay. Both types of kilns were covered with more clay before being lit. Firing took several days, after which the brick-like product was broken up by hand and spread on to the road. Nearly all of Taranaki's burnt papa roads are covered now with gravel or bitumen, but fragments may still be seen on Marco Road near Kohuratahi, and outside the Whangamomona cemetry.
' Papa burning ' was used in the Whangamomona and Ohura Areas, and on Mount Messenger. Once the railway arrived, however, gravel was railed in, and papa burning finished.
Accession number
Collection type


My shortlist

Explore other objects by colour

Public comments

Be the first to comment on this object record.

Google reCaptchaThis site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.