St Mary's Church (Anglican)

State Highway 4, Upokongaro

  • St Mary's Church.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Rachel Connolly. Date: 29/12/2008.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 163 Date Entered 22nd November 1984


City/District Council

Whanganui District


Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 163 LBWR Blk XIV Waipukara SD


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

St Mary's Anglican Church at Upokongaro was dedicated on 11 November 1877 and was the first church in the Wanganui Parochial District. It was built by Mr J. Randal to a plan submitted by Wanganui architect, Mr E.C. Morgan. It was not declared debt free until two years later and on the 20 July 1879 was consecrated by the Bishop of Wellington and named St Mary's.

Among the many endowments are three stained glass windows imported from England by Mr & Mrs H. Montgomery in memory of their son, Archibald, who was drowned when the 'Avalanche' sank in the English Channel in 1877. The distinctive feature of St Mary's is its unusual spire which is designed to rise from four corners at the base to three giving the impression that the spire is leaning.

The church in its rural setting overlooking the Wanganui River is a landmark and a symbol of pioneer faith.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1877 -

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.