Mandeville Bridge

Black Street; Davie Street, Kaiapoi River, Kaiapoi

  • Mandeville Bridge. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Walgert. Taken By: Walgert. Date: 12/10/2011.
  • Mandeville Bridge. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 3/09/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1812 Date Entered 23rd June 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 13 DP 1280 (CT CB524/86) and part of the land described as Legal River, Canterbury Land District and the structure known as Mandeville Bridge thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Rārangi Kōrero meeting on 8 June 2017.

City/District Council

Waimakariri District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 13 DP 1280 (CT CB524/86) and Legal River, Canterbury Land District

Location description

Spanning the Kaiapoi River between Black and Davie Streets, KAIAPOI


Constructed in 1873-4, the ‘swing’ footbridge known as Mandeville Bridge has historical significance as the longest serving of all Waimakariri Bridges. Spanning the Kaiapoi River between Raven Quay and Charles Street, the bridge provides a practical safe passage to allow pedestrians to cross the river on the line of Black Street to the west and Davie Street at Trousselot Park to the east.

Kaiapoi and the surrounding area have a long and significant history of Māori settlement and occupation. From the mid nineteenth century, Pākehā missionaries and immigrants settled in Kaiapoi, many arriving as part of the Canterbury Association settlement programme. The Kaiapoi River was one of the main reasons for the town to be sited where it is. First named Gladstone by the planners, by 1854 the town had a wool store, general store and hotel. It became a flourishing port and ships could travel upstream to the woollen mills to load goods. In 1873, about 100 Kaiapoi residents petitioned the Canterbury Provincial Council for a footbridge over the Kaiapoi River. The main bridge in Kaiapoi, further down river, had been considered unreliable and unsafe especially in times of flood. The Mandeville footbridge was constructed in 1874 to allow school children to walk to the new Kaiapoi School. Construction began in late 1873 and in February 1874 the footbridge crossing the ‘north stream of the Waimakariri’, connecting Davie and Black Streets, was completed by contractor, William Stocks of Christchurch. The cost was £590, which included the earthwork formation of the approaches.

Constructed of timber and wire, the length of the bridge is approximately 66 metres. The suspension posts are 2.5 metres high. The posts carry wire ropes on iron pulleys and, from these, iron droppers carry the weight of the deck and its load. Piles bear suspension poles approximately 2.5 metres in height which connect above with timbers to form an archway. The bridge incorporates four curved lamp stands, the end one incorporating laser cut steel decoration and the words Mandeville Bridge.

The bridge is thought to have been named after Viscount Mandeville, Canterbury Association member, although initially it was simply referred to as the footbridge or the ‘swing’ footbridge. Originally the bridge had a total length of 360 feet (110 metres), but this was shortened by half when swampy ground, now part of Trousselot Park, was reclaimed. The bridge was repaired in 2011 following damage caused in the Canterbury earthquake of 4 September 2010.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

William Stocks

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Mandeville Bridge shortened

Original Construction
1873 - 1874

Completion Date

5th May 2017

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.