Jul 31, 2008

NZ Historic Places Trust Periodical Index

Published at Wellington, New Zealand as Historic Places in New Zealand from 1983 to 2002 and then as New Zealand Heritage from 2003 to date.

The online index to the magazines of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust is yet to be completed. As priorities allow, the balance of the index will be added to the database and then continuously updated.

The comprehensive article entries include geographical location of subject, title, author, extended information in the form of keywords or tags, volume number and date of issue.

Copies of the illustrated articles, in all formats, are available from Canterbury Heritage. A nominal donation to cover costs is requested.

Please contact the Editor of the Canterbury Heritage journal for requests for copies of articles, corrections, suggestions for amendments and inclusions.

Jul 30, 2008

Water Sculpture for City Mall?

A vortex fountain by British designer William Pye. The circular movement of water inside a transparent acrylic cylinder forms an air-core vortex in the centre. Steps wrap around the cylinder and allow spectators to view the vortex from above.

Further reading: William Pye Water Sculpture

Solar Trees for Garden City?

Solar powered LED street lighting on the streets of Vienna by Welsh designer Ross Lovegrove.

The solar cells on the tree are able to store enough electricity in spite of receiving no direct solar light for days at a time because of the clouds.

Christina Werner from Cultural Project Management, Vienna reports that they show that solar trees really are a practical form of street lighting.

We hope that not only Vienna but the city of Christchurch will see the merits of using renewable energy for street lighting.

Jul 26, 2008

Down and Nearly Under

Built in suburban Shirley by a former drain layer and tree feller, one of these dwellings is currently owned by a pig magnate, but rented back to the builder, who was brought up in a state house.

The Green alternative is situated amidst more spacious grounds in nearby Bromley.

Further reading
Developer's empire unravels: The Press, 26 July 2008

Jul 25, 2008

Christchurch 1872 & 2008

Large image opens in a new window

A panoramic view of Colombo Street North from the Gloucester Street intersection, towards Victoria Square.

With one exception all of the buildings in this photograph have been replaced twice. The lone survivor is the two storey building, with the two large chimneys, on the Right hand side of the street.

The same view in 2008

See where these photographs were taken.

Podcast: 17th Century English Ancestors

Once we go back beyond the period of civil registration, census returns and uniform parish registers, it becomes more difficult to trace a family tree.

This 47 minute talk looks at early English parish registers, wills, apprenticeship records, hearth tax returns and other records to see how progress might be made when the going becomes difficult.

Jul 24, 2008

1865 Lyttelton Directory

Residential and Commercial Directory

of the

Township of Lyttelton, New Zealand


Click on the above 1865 photographs to access the Directory, which is compiled from the Canterbury Heritage Biographical Index and includes
636 listings. The link opens in a new window.

Jul 21, 2008

Historic Church For Sale

Faced with a declining congregation and situated on what is now a valuable commercial site opposite The Palms shopping mall, the church which gave its name to the suburb of Shirley, is for sale.

Built on Craddock's Corner in 1919, the Normanesque tower was added nine years later. Both were designed by Joseph Salkeld (1866-1935), the son of an early Lyttelton Builder & Contractor. The architect was also the Choir Master of the Wesleyan chapel.

In the 1980s extensive alterations were made to the church and a new entrance was established. The exterior Sandstone facings were painted Pink, to be replaced by an equally unfortunate shade of Blue more recently.

Except for the 1938 pipe organ, the extensively modified chapel is of no particular architectural distinction and probably not worth saving. However, the 1928 tower, if restored, could prove a significant landmark as part of a commercial development of the extensive site. We trust that it will not be declared yet another "earthquake risk."

Conventional aesthetic considerations do not appear to be part of the restrictions upon exterior colour schemes within the realm of the local Council. Accordingly, something along these lines could be considered.

Further reading
Shirley Methodist Church One Hundred Years of Witness, 1966 Centennial History of the Parish (full text).

More Shirley Stories - The Press, 26 December, 1981.

Christchurch Library - Heritage: Shirley Methodist Church

Canterbury Heritage gratefully acknowledges the copyright of Jessica Park, the Methodist Church of New Zealand and New Zealand Newspapers Ltd with respect to the above images.

Changing Christchurch Skyline

A partially completed 22 floor hotel and apartment complex framed by the south transept of Christ Church cathedral and the 1908 tower of The Press newspaper building.

98 Year-Old Christchurch Tram

Built by Joseph Kitson Boon (1844-1935) at his surviving carriage works in Lower High Street (now Ferry Road), the tram entered service on the 9th of June 1910.

12.37 metres long and weighing about 15 tons, it's powered by two 600 Volt (DC) forty horsepower electric motors.

Withdrawn from service in 1952, the tram became a garden shed at South New Brighton. Rescued in August, 1969 (above), 23,000 man-hours of restoration were required before the project was completed in 1981.

The forty-eight passenger double-saloon car returned to service on the 4th of February, 1995.

Podcast: The Uses and Abuses of History

Professor Margaret MacMillan teaches International History at the University of Oxford, where she is also warden of St Antony's College.

In this lecture, she discusses how history casts a shadow over the present in more ways than we realise, and how history can be harnessed to help understand contemporary global conflicts.

Margaret MacMillan delivered this 54 minute lecture at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. Her visit to Australia was organised by the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand, and the Canadian High Commission.

Jul 20, 2008

1864 Building Identified

A Sushi Restaurant on the Northeast corner of Colombo and Lichfield Streets occupies one of the city's oldest buildings.

The historic premises first enters the documentary record in 1864 as the shop of William Hislop (1828-95), a Nurseryman & Seedsman.

The Scottish Gardener, with his wife Mary Ann and their daughter Elizabeth (1854-1918), had arrived in Christchurch in 1855. Hislop soon established the Woodburn Nursery on the west side of Antigua Street, between St Asaph Street and Moorhouse Avenue, and by 1861 was able to advertise fifteen thousand one year old apple trees for sale. By 1867 Hislop had been elected as a Christchurch City Councilor.

To the Right in the old photograph is the city's first three storey building. Completed at the beginning of 1876, by 1901 it had been identified as a building of historic significance. It was demolished at the end of 2006 after being designated as yet another "earthquake risk."

See where these photographs were taken.

Jul 18, 2008

Naming Christchurch Streets

Canterbury Heritage is soon to publish the memoirs of Edward Jollie, the Surveyor who laid out the city of Christchurch in 1849.

Among the appendices to the memoir is this excerpt from the reminisces of his fourth daughter Mary, who was born at Christchurch in 1868.

"The chief was Captain Thomas, who had come out to Wellington about 1841. He had been in a British cavalry regiment. The cadets in Wellington had once saved him from arrest for debt by rolling him up in some big maps in the survey office. He was a man of strong opinions.

When helping to lay out Christchurch my father built himself a Raupo whare, which was the first dwelling in that town. The younger surveyors made plans and submitted them to Captain Thomas for approval. It is to be regretted that he disapproved of the suggestion that the streets should be twice their present width. He was sorry after, when it was too late.

Then came the question of naming the streets. They were to be called after bishoprics of the Anglican Church. They had a sort of informal council, and looking at the plan one would say,

"What about street No. 20: shall we call it after the See of Blank?"

"That will do," would say Captain Thomas, "the Bishop of Blank is a Conservative and a good fellow, so put it down."

"Then how about naming street No. 13 after the See of Dash?"

"I'll be damned if you do, the Bishop is a Radical, quite a low fellow."

So some Sees were left out, because the chief disliked the bishops. He must have had an extensive knowledge of them.

When the ships at last arrived a number of immigrants came straggling over the Port Hills, and the Raupo whare had to accommodate quite a number of future notabilities for the night. But it did not take long to get the new town going..."

Jul 17, 2008


Six months have now elapsed since the online inauguration of Canterbury Heritage, a journal of social history and cultural heritage.

Although a facility to analyse readership statistics was set up at inception, in an effort to avoid that Godzonian predilection for self-congratulation, we managed not to peek at them, until now...

However, among recent requests for re-publication rights has come a question about just how widely known and appreciated the journal is. Accordingly, we're pleased to be able to report a current monthly readership of 2,244.

The use of a blog, rather than a conventional web site, for the journal may appear somewhat unusual. However, there are distinct advantages in this format. Not the least of these being that, consequential to specific programming techniques (which we're not about to divulge), Canterbury Heritage articles appear in Google search results within two hours of publication.


1864 Canterbury Emigrant Ship

The world's oldest surviving clipper ship, The City of Adelaide, was built in 1864 to carry emigrants to Australia and New Zealand. As such she was a regular visitor to Lyttelton until 1887. The 860 ton vessel has been stored at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Ayrshire since 1993.

Christchurch 1850

An idealistic and somewhat inaccurate view of the nascent city about June, 1850.

If the Barbadoes Street bridge had been there at this time then this would have been the elevated view in a Southwesterly direction towards Wigram and the snow clad Port Hills.

To the Right is what is now Cambridge Terrace. Beyond the two cottages is the home of Edward Jollie (1825-1894), the Canterbury Association's Surveyor. Down on the bank of the Avon is the Surveyor's Store. Nearby stands a horse and cart at the end of what will become Peterborough Street. This street approximates the position of the 1840 track to the first European settlement on the plains, accordingly it might well lay claim to be the city's oldest thoroughfare.

This had been the location of a Maori seasonal hunting whare near an artesian spring. By 1840 this site, at the highest tidal reach of the river, was in use as a landing place for the European farm at what would become Riccarton. By 1843 the Deans brothers were using the abandoned whare for temporary storage.

By the end of 1850 a landing stage stood on the opposite bank (subsequently known as The Bricks Wharf), beyond it will soon be seen the Canterbury Association's Land Office at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street.

This is a restoration of a circa 1905 watercolour attributed to Albert Henry Fullwood (1863-1930).

Fullwoood, an English Artist living in Sydney, came to New Zealand about 1905 to paint a series topical images for Raphael Tuck and Sons, postcard publishers of London. Most of these cards were released in the Tuck's Oilette series to coincide with the 1906-7 Christchurch International Exhibition.

Fullwood occasionally reinterpreted other artist's work for these scenes and this particular example would appear to be influenced by the contemporary sketches of Walter Mantell (1820-1895) and the reminisces Edward Jollie, et al.

Not published in the postcard series, this painting of the lost location of the city's earliest historic site appears to have been overly enhanced in a subsequent rework and then published in The Press newspaper. A lithographic copy of the painting is held by the Christchurch Library, where it is attributed to John Durey.

Son of a Riccarton farmer, the sixteen year-old Durey had arrived at Lyttelton, with his parents, three sisters and older brother in December, 1850. He is later recorded as an employee of The Press newspaper. There is no documentary evidence of any other work of art by John Durey.


In his memoir Edward Jollie wrote, "I lived in Scroggs' grass house at the Bricks and the six men who were with me occupied a weather boarded house of one room about forty yards off."

These are the only known contemporary views of the site: the upper is late 1849 and the lower early 1851.

Jollie's trigonometric survey pole in the upper image would have been sited on what is now the north-east corner of Salisbury and Barbadoes Streets (marked below in red on an 1877 map).

Jul 16, 2008

Cecil Walkden Wood

Cecil Walkden Wood (1874-1965) in his third home-built car about 1910. The body is by the Wheelwright and Coach Builder John James Grandi (1858-1913), Mayor of Timaru from 1896. The passenger is Wood's son, Cecil Walkden Wood Junior (1902-1991).

Born at Timaru in March, 1874 Wood served for a time as a mechanical engineer at Lyttelton, and ultimately turned his attention to the cycle trade in Christchurch, where he worked as an Apprentice at the Tourist Cycle Works from 1892. Returning to Timaru he founded C. W. Wood & Company, Bicycle & Motor Engineers in 1894.

Cecil Wood was the first person in New Zealand to build an internal combustion engine, making his own spark plugs, carburettors and crankshafts plundered from old tobacco tins and cast-iron irrigation pipes.

Between 1897 and 1902 Wood built the country's first motorbike, first car built in New Zealand and a two-cylinder, 25 horsepower petrol engine for the March 1903 flight of the self-built monoplane of the reclusive Richard Pearse (1877-1953).

Top image: Reference number: 1/2-018732-F. Collection: Photographic Archive, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Jul 15, 2008

Index: 1903 Canterbury Cyclopedia

Described as "that great repository of fiction," and published in six volumes between 1897 and 1908, the Cyclopedia of New Zealand was a vanity publication of biographical information and photographs of local identities, supplied by the individuals who cared to part with £5 in order to be included.

It is, however, an interesting social document, which reflects the values of the first and second generations who set the tone for our cultural development.

The 1903 Canterbury edition was published by the Cyclopedia Company at Horace Weeks's extant 1898 five story Printery on Manchester Street. Using the new half-tone process for the reproduction of photographic images, it captured the flavour of a Canterbury, which had recently survived yet another depression and was looking forward to the new century with optimism.

This 4,465 entry index of the 1,146 page volume has been extended from the 48,732 entry Canterbury Heritage Biographical Index of early settlers.

Available in library reference rooms, the Cyclopedia can also be purchased from second hand book shops or online via the TradeMe web site for about $150 to $350 per volume. They are also available on CD in PDF format for $25 each from Dunedin's Colonial Books.

Jul 13, 2008

Don't Make 'em Like They Used To

1910 Art Nouveau foyer in stained glass and gilded bronze at the corner of Cashel and High Streets, Christchurch.

The Art Deco light fitting is a somewhat later addition.

See where this picture was taken

Jul 11, 2008

Podcast: Solving Census Problems

David Annal takes a practical approach to overcoming the most common problems faced by family historians when using the 19th century census returns.

It may sometimes seem that your ancestors are missing from the returns - this talk aims to convince you that, if your ancestors were living in England or Wales at the time of the census, they were almost certainly recorded and you should be able to find them. The odds are firmly stacked in your favour.

Jul 10, 2008

The Grim Reaper Awaits...

A pair of derelict, but historically significant, late Victorian semi-detached town houses at the south west corner of Christchurch's inner city Worcester and Barbadoes Streets.

The style is strongly reminiscent of the circa 1883-1892 houses situated along Steiner Street on Alamo Square in San Francisco. Also known as Postcard Row, it would be inconceivable that houses of such heritage significance would be considered demolishable in the city from where the style originates.

Photographed by Hayley Badock

Chocks Away Forever

More than ninety years of aviation history at Wigram, from first World War bi-planes to modern skydiving, will end in September, 2008.

The 250 hectare aerodrome, which has been operating since 1916, will make way for about 2,000 new houses and will incorporate a retail precinct, schooling and recreational facilities.

Owners Ngai Tahu Property Ltd sent a letter to all tenants this week informing them that the airfield will close on the 28th February, 2009, after being closed to air traffic from September, 2008.

Further reading:
Wigram air traffic to end - The Press, 10 July 2008

Council Short Sightedness -
Geekzone, 10 July 2008

Christchurch 2090?

This might also be Christchurch by 2090.

As part of London Festival of Architecture 2008, award-winning media production studio Squint/Opera envisions London life in 2090, long after sea levels have risen from global warming.

Imitating some of the techniques of the super-idealistic Victorian landscape painters, Squint/Opera have used a combination of photography, 3d modeling and digital manipulation to present five unique visions of a tranquil utopia in a familiar, yet drastically altered, landscape.


Jul 7, 2008

Decline and Fall

John Azariah Slater Royds (1840-1919) from England's industrial north made a name for himself after settling at Invercargill. The Royds family prospered and two of his sons set up as produce merchants at Christchurch (a later Royds produce merchant recently made a bit of a splash for keeping his girlfriend on ice).

In 1857 the Wood brothers built a seven storey windmill in Antigua Street. It soon became apparent the ferocious Christchurch winds were too much for the structure and in 1860 they leased (and later bought) land on the 1843 Deans farm at Riccarton. Here they erected a water driven flour mill on the Avon River. By 1900 the city was enjoying one of the peaks in its unstable economy and demand for lifestyle acreage had turned lower Riccarton into valuable real estate.

The Wood family sold a portion of their land, between the upper Avon and a tributary stream, to John Ingledew Royds (1870-1949). In 1908 the ardent Prohibitionist built Royden, a substantial house overlooking the river, with Tennis courts and a horse paddock fronting on to Straven Road.

About 1937 Royds sold the house to Ernest Edward Coombes (1900?-1968). Within two years Coombes had split the acreage into residential sections, developing Royds Street across the former horse paddock.

Royden's penultimate owner sold the house to what he believed to be a heritage Family Trust. That trust turned out to be a property developer, who demolished the house in May, 2007 upon the justification that "It was extremely Borer-ridden. I could have honestly pushed that thing over with my digger, sideways. It was very, very rotten and very unstable." However, a regular visitor to Royden before the advent of the developer, and who knew every room, got quite the opposite impression from the then owners.

Construction of three luxury townhouses then commenced on the site, which is now in the suburb of Fendalton, rather than the less salubrious Riccarton of an earlier era. In July, 2008 The Press newspaper reported that the development appeared to have been abandoned at a mid-construction phase.

Had the citizens of Christchurch yet further need of example that the City Council allows heritage buildings to be demolished by a strange type of stealth through the Resource Management Act, then the vacant site of the former Tivoli Theatre will suffice.

Marking the end of the grand movie theatre facades that were once dotted around Cathedral Square, the former theatre was also demolished in May, 2007. Without the impediment of an heritage listed building, the 2,700 square metre vacant site is now for sale by its property developer owner.

Further reading

Construction halted on Royden homestead site
The Press, 07 July 2008.

Royden - Our Building Legacy
The Press, 26 January, 2008.

Canterbury Heritage acknowledges the copyright of the Christchurch City Council and Fairfax Media Ltd in respect the above images.

Jul 6, 2008

New Zealand Cemeteries Online

Links to searchable databases open in new windows

Hawkes Bay
  • New Plymouth District Te Henui, Awanui, Waitara, Inglewood, Oakura, Urenui, Purangi, Waireka, Tarata, Tataraimaka.
  • South Taranaki District Eltham, Hawera, Kaponga, Manaia, Okaiawa, Opunake, Otakeho, Patea, Ohawe, Waihi, Waverley, Manutahi, Pihama, Warea, Rahotu.
  • Palmerston North Kelvin Grove, Terrace End, Ashurst.
  • Horowhenua Fielding, Halcombe, Kimbolton, Pohangina, Rangiwahia, Rongotea, Sandon, Waituna West.
  • Tasman District Richmond, Lower Moutere, Motueka, Riwaka, Sandy Bay, Collingwood, Clifton, Takaka, Kotinga, Dovedale, Foxhil, Upper Moutere, Spring Grove, Brightwater, Ngatimoti, Tapawera, Murchison, Stanley Brook.
  • Nelson Marsden Valley, Stoke, Hira, Wakapuaka.
  • Hurunui District Balcairn, Culverden, Glenmark, Waipara, Hanmer Springs, Homeview, Cheviot, Horsley Down, Rotherham, Waiau, Waikari.
  • Christchurch Addington, Avonhead Park, Barbadoes Street, Belfast, Bromley, Linwood, Memorial Park, Ruru Lawn, Sydenham, Waimairi, Woolston, Yaldhurst.
  • Ashburton District Ashburton, Methven, Rakaia, Chertsey, Mt Somers, Ruapuna, Alford Forest, Winslow, Hinds, Waterton, Barrhill, Dorie, Windermere, Coldstream, Cracroft.
  • Timaru District Arundel, Geraldine, Pareora, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Timaru.
  • Waimate District (Download PDF 0.5 Mb) Hakataramea, Glenavy, Morven, Otaio, Waimate.
  • Mackenzie District Albury, Fairlie, Burkes Pass, Twizel.
West Coast

Jul 4, 2008

Pioneer Cemetery

A southerly view of Christchurch's first cemetery in Barbadoes Street at Cambridge Terrace. Here lie the pioneer settlers from the early 1840s. The chapel was demolished in 1955 and the old cemetery has become neglected and vandalised.

In the foreground is the grave of Johannes Georg Ruddenklau (1829-1891), City Councilor from 1866 and Mayor of Christchurch 1882-1891. A German Baker and Confectioner, Ruddenklau had a Pie shop at "The Triangle" (junction of High and Colombo Streets) by 1857, subsequently granted a Beer License, he built the City Hotel on the same site. The much photographed hotel was demolished in the early 1930s to make way for the current building.

Photographed by Andy Wragg, a recent Canterbury settler from the United Kingdom.

Jul 2, 2008

Where Canterbury Began

41 Charing Cross, subsequently known as 16 Whitehall, occupies part of the site of London's Whitehall Palace, which burnt down in 1698. Already a centre of London book publishing before it was built in 1765, the ground floor of the three-storey plastered brick building was a Coffee House by 1810.

The inaugural meeting of the Canterbury Association was held in the upper floor rooms on the 27th of March, 1848, where a resolution was passed: "that the name of the proposed settlement be "Canterbury" and the name of the chief town be "Christchurch."

Next door were the banking offices of Thomas Somers Cocks (1815-1899), an original member of the Canterbury Association. Cocks, Biddulph and Company became the Association's bankers. Thomas's cousin the Reverend Henry Bromley Cocks, (1832-1894), first Vicar of Sydenham, emigrated to Christchurch in 1861. Mount Somers in the foothills of mid-Canterbury is named after the banker to the Canterbury Association.

The 165 year-old building was demolished in 1930, to be replaced by the neo-Georgian offices of the Glyn Mills Bank. Known as Kirkland House, it now forms part of the British government's Cabinet Office. The commemorative plaque was unveiled on the 16th December 2003.