Victoria Clock Tower

Victoria Street and Montreal Street, CHRISTCHURCH

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This clock tower was originally designed by Benjamin Mountfort to be erected on top of the first wooden section of his Canterbury Provincial Council Chambers. It proved to be too heavy for the building and it was placed in the courtyard of the Chambers until 1864. It was then placed in storage at the Council yards on Oxford Terrace until the Council decided, over thirty years later, to use it as a monument for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. In 1897 it was erected on a stone base at the corner of Manchester, High and Lichfield Streets. However it came to be seen as a traffic hazard and was moved to its current site in Victoria Street in 1930. At this time a new clock was installed. The clock tower itself was made from iron by Skidmore and Sons in Coventry, England and sent out to New Zealand in 1860 in 142 packages. Mountfort's original design was somewhat modified due to the cost. The design becomes increasingly delicate as it ascends and originally the wrought iron railing and scroll work were covered in gold leaf. In 1897 a competition held for the design of the stone base, on which the tower was eventually erected, was won by Strouts and Ballantyne. (Frederick Strouts is remembered particularly for his design of Ivey Hall, Lincoln and Otahuna at Tai Tapu. His partner, Robert Ballantyne initially trained under him). The clock tower is an important landscape feature in Christchurch and significant as part of Mountfort's original design for the Provincial Council Chambers. The clock tower is also 'a remarkable example of High Victorian ironwork' and its association with Queen Victoria's Jubilee makes explicit the link between colonial New Zealand and Victorian Britain.

Victoria Clock Tower, Christchurch. CC BY-SA 4.0 Image courtesy of | Michal Klajban | 13/08/2019 | Michal Klajban - Wikimedia Commons
Victoria Clock Tower, Christchurch. c.2014 Image courtesy of | Ruamoko Solutions Consulting Structural Engineers
Victoria Clock Tower, Christchurch. CC BY-SA 4.0 Image courtesy of | Michal Klajban | 17/05/2019 | Michal Klajban - Wikimedia Commons
Victoria Clock Tower, Christchurch. c.1915 Photographed from the intersection of Manchester Street and Bedford Row, looking in a south-west direction. | Public Domain



List Entry Information


Detailed List Entry



List Entry Status

Historic Place Category 1


Able to Visit

List Number


Date Entered

4th April 1985

Date of Effect

4th April 1985

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Reserve (Lawns Ornamental Gardens and Ornamental Buildings), Canterbury Land District

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