Oct 2, 2008

Victorian Linwood


A classic example of a late Victorian corner store at the intersection of Cashel and Saxon Streets.

This part of Linwood first underwent suburban development in the early 1870s, with a significant proportion of smaller houses of an earlier era moved from the inner city on Bullock Drays.

The shop probably owes it location to a stop along the 1887 tram line to New Brighton, which quickly attracted between three and four thousand passengers a week in a time when the population of Christchurch had barely reached 35,000 (on Boxing Day 1888 more than 5,000 people took the tram to the popular beach resort).

The introduction of American style self-help shopping in the later 1950s, soon followed by Supermarkets, marked the death knell of the Victorian corner shop. Many have disappeared in the last half century, but the owners of this fine example are to be congratulated on its preservation.

Photograph by Benedikt Saxler

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