Button, Military

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A button used on the tunics of the 57th Regiment when stationed in Taranaki during the 1860s. The button has " 57 " in raised metal on the front of the rounded face, and the metal has corroded to be a pale green in colour. The grooves and raised areas of the button's face have dirt ingrained into them. The reverse of the button has a loop for attaching the button to fabric, which is also blocked with dirt.
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This little button was found at the New Plymouth Prison grounds, and hints at the multitude of uses the site has been used for. Originally, the Marsland Hill site was a Te Atiawa stronghold. After European arrival to the region, the by-then abandoned pa was transformed into a military hospital to support the neighbouring barracks which included the 57th Regiment sent from England. After the last regiments had been withdrawn, the military hospital was converted into a prison. This button hints at the site's central importance during the New Zealand Wars, and its changing use over time to a penal institution and now historic place.
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