Victorian Gothic Revival charm
The Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings are the only purpose-built provincial government buildings still in existence in New Zealand.
This small cluster of historic buildings in central Christchurch are treasured by the city, both for their historical importance and their beauty.
Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings (1858 to 1865) were designed by Benjamin Mountfort, Canterbury's leading Gothic Revival architect. Although the style of the buildings looks back to Europe, they also declare their pride of place with the use of local stone and timbers.
They sit beside the meandering Avon River, telling the story of Christchurch's early European settlement.
Maori too, had recognised this as a prime site. In much earlier times through three successive waves of Maori settlement, the area was popular because water was easily available. Maori set up camps here while they gathered seasonal food.