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"Statues (6): John Robert Godley" Top 5 Page for this destination Christchurch Favorite Tip by Kakapo2

Christchurch General: 108 reviews and 139 photos


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This is the statue cannot be missed, as it is sitting prominently on Cathedral Square, facing the Cathedral.

John Robert Godley was the founder of Canterbury. It was the first public commemorative statue in New Zealand to a single person and was unveiled in 1867. It was sculpted by the English Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner.

In 1907 the statue was hidden from public view by the tram shelter. Despite public deputations to the Council, the statue was not moved to a more prominent public position on the north side of the Cathedral until 1918.

This was at the time when many people of Christchurch suggested to place a Citizens’ War Memorial at the empty site of Godley’s statue. But in 1933 the Council decided to return Godley’s statue to its original – and present – site, and the then new Citizens’ War Memorial was placed on the north side of the Cathedral where you find it now.

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  • Written Jan 8, 2008
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