Topic: Bishopdale, Christchurch Suburb

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The suburb of Bishopdale is situated in north-west Christchurch next to Harewood, Bryndwr and Papanui.

Bishopdale from the Air 1965The area was originally known as ‘Papa Kohatu’ (Place of Rocks) to Maori;  a name that refers to the rocks deposited by regular flooding of  by the old Waimairi River, until the stop bank was built.    As well as rocks and shingle the receding waters also gave the area very fertile ground. 

The name Bishopdale comes from three Bishop brothers, Robert, James and William and their families.   Originally known as Bishopsdale.  The second ‘s’ was later dropped.   Robert, the first of the brothers to arrive in NZ, with his cousin Charlotte in the early 1850s, worked in various parts of Canterbury before establishing a pip-fruit orchard with his brothers.   Their main homestead stood on the site of the present Bishopdale School in Greers Road and that part of Greers Road between Sawyers Arms and Harewood roads, was once known at Bishops Road but the name was changed in 1948 to avoid confusion with similarly named streets in other parts of the city.

The current suburb was largely developed in the 1950s and 60s.  The Maori name is reflected in that of Bishopdale Library - Te Kete Wānanga o Papa Kōhatu, which, with the community centre,  is currently being rebuilt following the 2010/2011 earthquakes.  The new centre is expected to reopen in 2017.

Further information:

Christchurch City Council (2014). Community profile – November 2014 Bishopdale/Harewood, based on the 2014 Census area Units Bishopdale; Harewood and Bishopdale North.

Clubs and organisations in the Bishopdale area.

 Items relating to Bishopdale in Christchurch City Libraries Collection:


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Bishopdale, Christchurch Suburb

Suburb :Bishopdale
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Bishopdale, Christchurch Suburb by Cecil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License