Canterbury Cricket Umpires' Association Pavilion

445 Hagley Avenue and Riccarton Avenue, CHRISTCHURCH

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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!)

Canterbury Cricket Umpires' Association Pavilion | Pam Wilson | 01/10/2003 | NZ Historic Places Trust
Original image submitted at time of registration | Ann McEwan | 16/10/1992 | NZHPT Field Record Form Collection



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 2


Private/No Public Access

List Number


Date Entered

12th December 2003

Date of Effect

12th December 2003

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Pt RS 41182 (RTs CB24B/260, CB24B/460, CB24B/461, CB30A/95) Canterbury Land District and the building described as Canterbury Cricket Umpires’ Association Pavilion thereon. Refer to Extent Map tabled at the Rārangi Kōrero Committee Meeting on 1 June 2023.

Legal description

Pt RS 41182 (RTs CB24B/260, CB24B/460, CB24B/461, CB30A/95) Canterbury Land District

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