In 1870 the Armed Constabulary built a redoubt here for defence against Te Kooti and to guard an important crossing of the Waikato River at its outflow from Lake Taupo. The redoubt was located on the opposite bank of the river to the Ngati Tuwharetoa pa at Nukuhau, said in the mid 1860s to be one of only two pa around the lake not to support the Kingitanga and King Tawhiao. There was never any fighting here, and the redoubt was abandoned in 1885.
Initially functioning as a combined courthouse and hall for the use of the Armed Constabulary, the building was erected in 1881 next to the redoubt. The structure is believed to have been the last major building in the township erected by the Armed Constabulary, who were withdrawn from the settlement in January 1885.
A pumice magazine building stands in one corner of the redoubt. It was erected inside the fortification by 1874 to house munitions used by the Tapuaeharuru (Taupo) force. The pumice is said to have been quarried at Aratiatia, some distance down the Waikato River.