Woolston Borough Monument

Ferry Road And Richardson Terrace, Christchurch

  • Woolston Borough Monument, Christchurch.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Robyn Burgess. Date: 2/05/2018.
  • Woolston Borough Monument, Christchurch. North side marble plaque detail.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Robyn Burgess. Date: 2/05/2018.
  • Woolston Borough Monument, Christchurch. CC Licence 2.0 Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.
    Copyright: Paul Willyams - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Paul Willyams. Date: 20/01/2010.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 1949 Date Entered 26th November 1981


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Legal Road, Canterbury Land District and the structure known as the Woolston Borough Monument thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Rārangi Kōrero Committee meeting on 31 May 2018.

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Legal Road, Canterbury Land District


The Woolston Borough Monument, a memorial lamp gifted by mayor John Richardson in 1893 to commemorate the proclamation of Woolston as a borough that year, stands in a relocated spot beside Ferry Road, near Richardson Terrace, Christchurch. A reminder of an amalgamated local body, the monument is an example of nineteenth century monumental design that also acts as a practical public amenity. It has historical, social, architectural and aesthetic significance.

Between 1877 and 1913 a number of separate small boroughs were set up to govern closely settled areas around the edges of Christchurch. Woolston developed south-east of Christchurch as a residential, commercial and industrial area. Woolston was proclaimed a borough on 27 July 1893. Scottish-born John Richardson, a tanner and currier by profession, was first elected to the Woolston Town Board in 1884. He became Woolston Borough’s first mayor in 1893 and arranged for the memorial lamp, with a drinking fountain, to be erected opposite the Council’s office on Ferry Road to be of service to the community.

The Woolston Borough Monument is located in a grassed area of road reserve adjoining the Heathcote River, and fronting the south side of Ferry Road near the intersection with Richardson Terrace. Constructed in Oamaru limestone, inset with a marble plaque, and surmounted by an iron lamp standard, the monument has a classical design. On the north side, the inscription on the marble plaque reads: ‘Woolston, Proclaimed a Borough July 27th 1893, “May it Prosper”, John Richardson, Mayor’. The lamp standard was cast by Anderson’s Foundry in Christchurch. Now adapted to electricity, it is one of the few surviving former gas lamps in Christchurch. On the south (rear) side of the monument, a small thistle is carved in the stone. The monument is surrounded by a clear plastic fence.

Richardson was mayor of Woolston Borough between 1893 and 1896 and was again re-elected in 1902. In the early twentieth century, Christchurch city absorbed some of the small surrounding boroughs, including Woolston in 1921. By the early 1940s the monument had been shifted from further down Ferry Road to its current location near Richardson Terrace. The drinking fountain had been removed by 1974, when the monument was renovated. In 1993 the main body of the monument was completely replaced with new stone, the marble plaque cleaned and re-leaded, and a flattened circular shaped light was replaced with a replica of what was most likely there in the nineteenth century. Since early 2017, the monument has been fenced by a protective hard plastic clear surround in an effort prevent it from being defaced by graffiti.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Anderson’s Foundry

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1893 -

Monument relocated to current Ferry Road location near Richardson Terrace

Drinking fountain removed

Original lamp removed and replaced with flattened circular light

1993 -
Lamp replaced with nineteenth century lamp style, replacement of the main body of the stonework

2017 -
Protective clear surround added

Completion Date

15th May 2018

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 Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand