Heritage

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes Street, Christchurch

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes Street, Christchurch

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes Street, Christchurch
[192-?]

Designed by Francis William Petre (1847-1918), it is based on old Roman basilicas, but is neo-classical in style, derived from eighteenth century French examples. Tenders for the building were called towards the end of 1900. The foundation stone was laid on 10 Feb. 1901 and the contractors, J. and W. Jamieson, completed the building in four years. Fifty men were employed on its construction, which required more than 120,000 cubic ft. of stone, 4,000 cubic ft. of concrete and 90 tons of steel. It is 210 ft. by 106 ft. and reaches a height of 135 ft. The Cathedral was blessed and opened on 12 Feb. 1905, at a total cost of £52,213. Although Petre had intended the original altar to be in keeping with the style of the building, Bishop Grimes commissioned the elaborate marble and bronze high altar shown in the photograph to be carved by Italian Giuseppe Cassioli. Shipping disruptions caused by the outbreak of World War I meant its final sections did not arrive until 1916. In 1975 the re-ordering of the Cathedral saw its motifs and carvings distributed to other parts of the building and the remaining marble used to form the modern free-standing pulpit, Bishop's chair, altar and baptismal font.

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File Reference CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0008

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