Topic: Victoria Square, Christchurch Place
Originally known as Market Square or Market Place, with a busy Road is now a peaceful Park.
Once been part of the ancient Waitaha pā of Puari, Victoria Square was originally known as Market Square or Market Place. It was the commercial hub of early Christchurch because it contained the Post Office and markets as well as the Police Station, Women’s Prison, animal pound, work stores and Immigration Barracks.
Today Victoria Square is bounded by the Christchurch Town Hall on the north side, the Avon River and Law Courts precinct on the west and Armagh Street and Colombo Street on the south and east respectively.
Notable objects in the square include the bronze statue of Queen Victoria (1903) by Francis J Williamson; the illuminated Bowker Fountain (1931); the statue of Captain James Cook (1932) by William Trethewey; the Floral Clock (1953); the Ferrier Fountain commemorating the opening of the Town Hall (1972) and the Victoria Square Poupou (1993) carved by Riki Manuel to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The square has undergone several changes during its lifetime. It was redeveloped in 1896 & 97 in preparation for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee and was again comprehensively redeveloped in the 1980s and became one of the most popular spots in the central city used for many festivals and as a relaxing green space with trees and planted areas of bedding plants that change with the seasons.