Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Catholic)
Craigie Avenue, Timaru
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Private/No Public Access
2nd April 1985
Extent of List Entry
The Basilica of the Sacred Name suffered damage in the Canterbury Earthquakes.
Pt Lot 2 DP 45190
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.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Timaru
The foundation stone for the church was laid on February 6th 1910, and the church was blessed and opened by the late Archbishop Redwood on October 1st 1911.
With its twin towers and striking cupola of copper the basilica has been for 70 years a very significant feature of the Timaru skyline. Designed by F W Petre the building is among the most noteworthy examples of ecclesiastical architecture in the country. The interior and exterior show both a pleasing blend of Roman and Byzantine architecture with touches of Art Nouveau decoration. Two small domes surmount the towers that flank the façade and a rear dome caps a carillon tower.
Of particular beauty is the semi-circular colonnade of 13 graceful Corinthian columns representing St Paul and the Twelve Apostles. The floor of the sanctuary is decorated with mosaic tiles while the windows are adorned with attractive stained glass.
Historically the basilica has been a monument to the faith and vision of the Catholic community in South Canterbury. As a townscape feature it is a major element of Timaru with a striking landmark quality.
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.