Heritage

The Godley statue, Cathedral Square, Christchurch

The Godley statue, Cathedral Square, Christchurch

The Godley statue, Cathedral Square, Christchurch
[192-?]

Possibly the first commemorative sculpture in New Zealand, the statue was executed by the Englishman Thomas Woolner (1825-1892). The statue was cast in bronze at Coalbrookdale Foundry, Shropshire, and was exhibited at the South Kensington Museum (later, Victoria and Albert Museum) in London before being sent to Christchurch. William Brassington had been instructed to make a plinth out of Hoon Hay stone. However, the dimensions were incorrect and there was a delay of nine months while another plinth was made. On 8 Aug. 1867 the Christchurch magistrate, Charles Bowen, who had once been Godley's secretary, unveiled the statue before a 2000-strong crowd. The statue remained in front of the Cathedral until 5 Mar. 1918 when it was moved to the north of the Cathedral (as shown in this photograph) to make way for a tram shelter and toilets. These facilities were later demolished and the statue returned to its original position in 1933.

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File Reference CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0014

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