Canterbury Cricket Umpires' Association Pavilion

Riccarton Avenue, Hagley Oval, South Hagley Park, Christchurch

  • Canterbury Cricket Umpires' Association Pavilion.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Pam Wilson. Date: 1/10/2003.
  • Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Ann McEwan. Date: 16/10/1992.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3656 Date Entered 11th December 2003


Extent of List Entry

Registration includes Cricket Pavilion on its site.

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Pt RS 41182, SO 15236, Canterbury Land District


The first recorded cricket match in Christchurch was held on 16 December 1851, less than a year after the arrival of the First Four Ships at Lyttelton In June of that year there had been an announcement in the Lyttelton Times that a cricket club and been formed and matches were arranged spasmodically after that. It was inevitable that cricket would be one of the first sports organised in the fledgling province. The planned Anglican church based settlement of Canterbury had the intention of reproducing a piece of England in this country 12,000 miles away, and as Dick Brittendon states in his Centennial History of the Canterbury Cricket Association, "the bat went with the bible". Through the 1850s various clubs were formed and some gala occasions were associated with the matches that were often attended by vast crowds.

In 1864 this pavilion was erected on the first Canterbury Cricket Club's grounds, called Dilloway's, in order to be ready in time for the visit of an English eleven, captained by George Parr. In the match against Canterbury the English team won convincingly but were impressed by the facilities provided at the grounds at the north-western corner of South Hagley Park (by the junction of Deans and Riccarton Avenues). The well prepared field was neatly fenced and the handsome pavilion, the envy of other local clubs still using tents on match days, provided fine accommodation. Of timber construction the pavilion was built to a traditional English design and provided changing facilities, a communal area for meetings and teas, an open verandah and a viewing balcony.

Two years later the pavilion was moved to its present site on Hagley Oval where it was the home of various clubs, the last in the 1980s being Marist. By this date it had served over 120 years and there was concern as to whether it could be retained It had been altered and upgraded several times and had been declared unsafe by the City Council in 1954. The local umpires' association took over the building in 1988 with the intention of restoring it. Under the guidance of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust the building has been fully upgraded, its original appearance returned and it continues to serve a useful function for cricket in Canterbury.

Certainly the oldest cricket pavilion in New Zealand, the building may even be the oldest such structure surviving in Australasia. (Local cricketers are prepared to claim it as the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere until this can be proved incorrect!)

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The cricket pavilion has historical significance as the oldest such structure in Canterbury and probably the oldest in Australasia. These reflect the English traditions that surround the game, and the early Canterbury settlers' objectives to recreate an English atmosphere here.

It also has technological and architectural value because of its form and styling.

The pavilion has important cultural and social significance as one of the earliest structures associated with sporting activities in the newly settled province.

The cricket pavilion can be assigned Category II status because it reflects the introduction of the sport of cricket in Canterbury, an important aspect of the province's cultural history.

The building has been associated with important cricketing events since it was built for the first international cricket match held in Canterbury in 1864.

The community esteem for the place was demonstrated in the early 1990s when the building's future was uncertain and great effort was put into ensuring it would be retained.

The pavilion's design has value because of its specific links to traditional English cricketing structures.

As the oldest cricket pavilion in New Zealand, it is important as a place known to date from the early periods of New Zealand settlement.


Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

The pavilion is a two storeyed, gable roofed building with a single storyed lean to at the rear. It is of timber construction and has a corrugated iron roof. Across the frontage is a verandah with a balcony above it. Timber detailing enlivens the frontage and the balcony has a cross braced balustrade. The building had fallen into disrepair before its 1990s restoration and much new material was required when this wok was undertaken. A photo of the pavilion in 1869 provided a record of its original appearance.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1864 -

1866 -
Shifted from original site to its present location.

1990 -
Restored 1990 with assistance of some funding from New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Construction Details

Timber with corrugated iron roof

Completion Date

6th September 2004

Report Written By

Pam Wilson

Information Sources

Brittenden, 1977

Dick Brittenden, 100 Years of cricket: a history of the Canterbury Cricket Association 1877-1977. Christchurch: Canterbury Cricket Association, 1977

Christchurch City Council

Christchurch City Council

Hagley Park Management Plan.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

NZHPT File 12009-086

Other Information

A fully referenced version of this report is available from the NZHPT Southern Region Office.

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.