Thursday, February 09, 2012

St. Paul Cathedral

On Thursday, September 14 while we were in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup, we spent the morning wandering around downtown Dunedin. We walked by the cathedral as we wandered around The Octagon. Tomasin and Julie are in front of the church in the picture at the bottom.

St. Paul's Cathedral
New Zealand Historic Places Trust #376

This historic place is located on The Octagon, Dunedin, Southern Island, New Zealand. The GPS coordinates for this location are S 45° 52.421 E 170° 30.166.

You can log your visit to this landmark at

St. Paul's Cathedral

Located in the heart of The Octagon in Dunedin, St. Paul's Cathedral is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin and the seat of the Bishop of Dunedin.

The land for St Paul's Church was donated by the sealer and whaler Johnny Jones of Waikouaiti. The first parish church of St. Paul was built on the site in 1862-1863. It was made of Caversham stone and could accommodate up to 500 people. It was not well constructed. The stone weathered badly and the tall spire was removed after just a few years.

In 1904, William Harrop, a prominent Dunedin businessman died and left the bulk of his estate to fund a new Cathedral. On June 8, 1915, the foundation stone of the new cathedral was laid. Huge foundations, large piers and a tremendous vaulted ceiling, the only one in stone in New Zealand, rose from the ground, forming the new Cathedral’s nave. Finances precluded construction of anything more. There was no money for the crossing or the chancel, as originally intended. In the end, it was resolved that a temporary chancel should be constructed, using material saved from the old St Paul’s. The new Cathedral was consecrated by Bishop Nevill on 12 February 1919.

In the 1950s, it was decided that it wouldn't be possible to complete the Cathedral to its original design. In 1966, the decision was made to build a new chancel. Construction began in earnest in December 1969. The old chancel was stripped and demolished and new columns began to rise from the debris. Construction and clearing up finished on Saturday, July 24, 1971, and the Cathedral reopened the next day.

St. Paul's Cathedral

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