Karori Cemetery Lychgate

Old Karori Road, Karori, Wellington

  • Karori Cemetery Lychgate. Back.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Vivienne Morrell. Date: 12/11/2011.
  • Karori Cemetery Lychgate. Front.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Vivienne Morrell. Date: 12/11/2011.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 1400 Date Entered 25th November 1982 Date of Effect 25th November 1982


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 A 316 (RT WN485/211), Wellington Land District, and the structure known as Karori Cemetery Lychgate thereon.

City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 1 A 316 (RT WN485/211), Wellington Land District

Location description

The lychgate is sited on the main thoroughfare into Karori Cemetery approximately 200 metres from the main entrance.


Karori Cemetery has been in use since 1891, with the Services’ Cemetery established in 1918 and the lychgate built as a memorial to World War One soldiers in 1921. It bears the inscription ‘Peace with Honour’. In the years immediately following World War One, memorials were erected throughout New Zealand to honour those who were killed. Gates and arches were reasonably common, many of them located at the entrance to schools or playgrounds where the young of the future could recall the deeds of the past. Lychgates traditionally form an entrance into a cemetery. The lychgate at Karori Cemetery was intended to be a shelter as well as the formal entrance to an extensive memorial area which includes a number of diverse monuments, but only the lychgate retains its original prominence.

The Wellington City Council heritage inventory entry for the lychgate includes the following description: ‘The lychgate is a small structure, 3.0 x 2.7 metres in plan built with several distinct building materials. The foundation is concrete. The lower part of the walls are limestone blocks which support an open structure of large section timber posts, and the roof is timber framed with shaped rafters and modern Decramastic tiling as sheathing. The gables at either end are half-timbered with stucco infill panels between the timber. The structure is open on the cemetery side, with a gate on the road (west) side, and there is a seat on either side under the shelter of the roof.’ The half-timbering in the gables give the structure an Elizabethan style with an Arts and Crafts influence in the timberwork detailing.

Of the few lychgates currently (2012) registered on the NHZPT Register, only one is known to be a World War One memorial: located in the Church of St Mary the Virgin Historic Area in Addington, Christchurch (Register no. 7516) it was erected in 1921 as a memorial to those parishioners who had died during World War One. An unregistered World War One memorial lychgate exists in Eketahuna.

Karori Cemetery Lychgate has historic and symbolic value as a war memorial and for its association with the services’ part of Karori Cemetery, of which it forms the entrance. Its prominent location on the main thoroughfare into the cemetery, combined with its design of exposed dark timber framing with white stucco infill gives it aesthetic value.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1921 -

Roof sheathing material replaced

Completion Date

19th October 2012

Report Written By

Vivienne Morrell

Information Sources

Four Decades Conservation, 2003

Four Decades Conservation, Karori Cemetery Conservation Plan, prepared for the Wellington City Council, June 2003.

Online at http://www.wellington.govt.nz/services/cemeteries/pdfs/karoricemeteryconservationplan.pdf

Other Information

A fully referenced proposal summary report is available from the Central Region office of NZHPT.

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.