St Paul's Cathedral and Belfry (Anglican)

36 The Octagon, Dunedin

  • St Paul's Cathedral and Belfry (Anglican).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 4/02/2014.
  • St Paul's Cathedral and Belfry (Anglican). View from Stuart Street. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Benchill - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Benchill. Date: 24/08/2009.
  • St Paul's Cathedral and Belfry (Anglican). Interior. Image courtesy of .
    Copyright: Benchill - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Benchill. Date: 24/08/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Registered List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1
List Number 376 Date Entered 26th November 1987


City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Legal description

Secs 24/25 Pts 26 36 37 Blk XVII Town of Dunedin

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The central Anglican church of Dunedin was built on land given by its pioneer businessman, John Jones. It replaces the Old St Pauls built in 1863 and demolished in 1914.


A major gothic building in the green centre of the city.


The church dominates the upper part of the Octagon and with the Town Hall forms a major architectural group of older buildings in the Octagon.


The Oamaru stone vault rises over pillars 65 feet high.


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Construction Details

The materials used are Oamaru stone for the walls, slates for the roof, and marble, tiles and wood for the floor. The church is reputed to have the only stone-vaulted nave in New Zealand. Built in Oamaru stone the nave rises to 65 feet. The 38 steps at the front of Takaka marble and the aisles are in Italian marble. The church has several fine stained glass windows, those above the great door commemorating the war dead. The windows on the side walls are English glass, depicting Biblical incidents. The altar in the Nevill Chapel on the right is from the earlier church on the site. The bell in the separate wooden belfry was donated in 1910, and was originally intended as part of a set in the new church, but the huge tower designed to house them was never built. The bell was donated by Sir George Fenwick to commemorate the life of his daughter, Nora Fenwick. In 1971, a modern chancel in the form of a semi-circular sanctuary and designed by Ted McCoy was added. It is built in concrete, sheathed inside and out with Oamaru stone cut to match the rest of the building. The tall narrow windows are proportioned to integrate with the gothic windows of the older part.

NZIA Silver Award Winners 1973 and 25 Year Award 2000.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.