Town and Gown

From its early years of European settlement the city of Christchurch has maintained a somewhat English character. This connection is visible in many ways; from the naming of the city, its suburbs and its streets through to the architecture and interior of its buildings and the way its citizens spoke and dressed. Many collections of Canterbury Museum and the University of Canterbury demonstrate this connection and provide insight into the early years of the city's development.

These collections provide us with an opportunity to meet some of Canterbury's earliest settlers and personalities; from the well-known John Robert Godley and Ernest, Lord Rutherford through to the lesser known figures such as Joseph and Jane Felton. They allow us the occasion to view the progress of the city through the construction and furnishing of a rapidly developing colony’s new buildings, such as the ChristChurch Cathedral, the development of new methods of transport, such as the railway bridge across the Waimakariri Gorge, and the founding and growth of new institutions, such as Canterbury College, later the University of Canterbury. These collections provide us with an understanding of the ways in which links with England were maintained while a new and fascinating city developed.


  • University of Canterbury contacts
    Chris Jones
    +64 3 364 2289
    History Department, School of Humanities
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800
    Christchurch 8140
    New Zealand
  • Canterbury Museum contacts
    Sarah Murray
    +64 3 366 5000
    Canterbury Museum
    Rolleston Avenue
    Christchurch 8013
    New Zealand