Janet Frame House, Oamaru

Janet Frame House is the childhood home of New Zealand author Janet Frame.

Janet Frame ONZ CBE (1924 – 2004) is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers. The author of 12 novels, four short story collections, one book of poetry, and a three volume autobiography. As well as her celebrated literary work Frame is remembered for her tragic personal life – misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia and spending nearly a decade in psychiatric hospitals. She was scheduled for a lobotomy, which was cancelled after hospital officials learnt that she had won an award for her first novel.

The Frame family rented the railway cottage at 56 Eden Street from 1931 to 1944. Janet lived here from age 6 until she left Oamaru to complete her secondary schooling.

Bill Tramposch was following the Janet Frame Heritage Trail in Oamaru and learnt that 56 Eden Street was not included in the brochure. Bill noticed that property was very neglected and wondered if it could be saved. Bill and his wife Peggy went on to the purchase the house. They set up a Trust and established funding for the restoration of the house.

The house is not a full restoration but rather what they call a re-framing – designed using known facts and recollections. The kitchen for example was rebuilt according to recollections of Janet and her younger sister June.

The house is open daily between 2pm – 4pm between November 1st – April 30th. Although during winter months the house can be viewed by appointment. Entry is $5.

Janet Frame House is located at 56 Eden Street, Oamaru.