Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings

The Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings are the only purpose-built provincial government buildings still in existence in New Zealand. These buildings are treasured by the city, both for their historical importance and their beauty.

Canterbury Provincial Chambers

Canterbury Provincial Chambers

The Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings (1858−1865) is a masterpiece of one of New Zealand’s most distinguished Victorian architects B.W. Mountfort.

The buildings were the finest example of Gothic Revival architecture in New Zealand prior to their severe earthquake damage. They are also the only remaining purpose built provincial government buildings in the country.

Sections in timber and stone were built around an internal courtyard and linked by flagstone corridors.  There are two debating chambers, one in timber and one stone; the stone chamber which remains in part, collapsed in the February earthquake was considered the finest Gothic Revival interior outside England.

A programme of careful deconstruction to secure the building along with weatherproofing and retrieval and storage of material has been undertaken.  The buildings are currently closed to the public.

Listed as Historic Place Category 1. (external link)

Find Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings. (external link)

Council and provincial building history

The history of the Council and background information on the design and build of the provincial buildings.

Timber buildings, Stone Chambers and Bellamys

The design and construction methods used.