Click Slide menu on left    Next Back
 
   Views of Canterbury 1851
William Holmes (1825-1885) a schoolmaster, was a Fore Cabin Passenger (intermediate) on the "Castle Eden". He arrived February 1851 to take up his position at the newly formed Collegiate Grammar School in Lyttelton. It opened on 6 January 1851 under Rev. Henry Jacobs and William Holmes who had gained his position partly for his ability in music and art. Within weeks of arriving he was active with his pen and pencil and was also making plans to publish sketches of Canterbury. By December 1851 many were being made available for private viewing at the Steadfast Coffee Room, Lyttelton, Four sketches were eventually published in C.W. Adams "A Spring in Canterbury" 1853 and others were issued as single line engravings printed in London. "I propose that my sketches be published in large 8vo. in this style with a little descriptive letterpress to be called Canterbury sketches & sold in a wrapper at a small amount, say 2/- or 2/6 or such a price that the poorest emigrant might afford. This will then afford great benefit both to the Assn & the colonist." N.B. To be got up in plain outline. William Holmes, Grammar School- Lyttelton- March 1851. 
 
Source - Hocken Library, Dunedin: "I propose that my sketches be published in large 8vo. in this style with a little descriptive letterpress to be called Canterbury sketches & sold in a wrapper at a small amount, say 2/- or 2/6 or such a price that the poorest emigrant might afford. This will then afford great benefit both to the Assn & the colonist. N.B. To be got up in plain outline." William Holmes, Grammar School, Lyttelton, March 1851. (The above key & the sketches to which they refer, with the exceptions of Nos 5, 6, 9, 10 & 11 which were not sufficiently worth copying, are copies of the originals lent to me by the Rev Prebendary Jackson, 29 Mecklenburg Square, London, a prebendary of S. Paulís Cathedral London & a son of the Rev. Thos Jackson, Bishop Designate of Lyttelton. Mr Holmes accompanied Bp Des. J. out to Canterbury & was a schoolmaster of the Assn I have had the copies lithographed. The Assn got into so much pecuniary difficulty that it was doubtless impossible to comply with Mr Holmes request to have these sketches published. T.M.Hocken, London Dec 15 1903).
 
 
Sumner and its vicinity: Label by W. Holmes transcribed in ink by Dr Hocken:  1. Rhodesís farm, Banks Peninsula. 2. A native Pah. 3. Pulao Bay. 4.  Castle Eden , 930 tons; 5. Sumner Road; 6. Town of Lyttelton; 7. Port Victoria; 8. Quail Island (abounding in good building stone);  Wm Holmes. N.B. 10. Shag Reef.
 
 
1 Cross set up on part of Mt Pleasant by the 1st masters; 2 H.W. Russell Esq.; 3 London St.; 4 Jail (building); 5 J.R. Godley Esq. C. Assocís Officer; 6 Lyttelton Times Office; 7 Temporary Church & Schools; 8 Sumner Rd.; 9 Dr Earleís; 10 Isabella Hercus; 12 Maoris encamping. 13 Temporary Epis. Palace; 14 Association's store; 15 Pier; 16 Esplanade; 17 Mr Alportís store; 18 Longden & Le Crenís store; 19 Lyttelton Arms Hotel; 20 Mitre. Major Hornbrookís; 21 Oxford; 22 Sumner Parade, joining London St.; 23 Canterbury St.; 24 Bridle Road, joining esplanade; 25 Market (site of the) 26. 27. 28. 29. Emmigration Barracks. N.B. Taken from foot of the Bridle Road. Wm Holmes.
 
Margin below image in ink in Dr Hockenís hand: Town of Lyttelton March 1851 T.M. Hocken; label: Na Te Hakena Tenei Tiki; note by W. Holmes transcribed in ink by Dr Hocken: 1 College Wood; 2 1600 feet high; 3 Direction of Bridle Road; 4 Lyttelton Rectory (Rev. Mr Dudley); 5 J. Townsend Esq.; 6 H.W. Russell Esq.; 7 Mr McFarlane; 8 Road to cemetery; 9 London St.; 10 Canterbury St.; 11 Mitre; 12 Esplanade; 13 Lyttelton Arms Hotel; 14 Longden & Le Crenís iron store; 15 Mr Alportís store; 16 Lyttelton Times Office (Mr Shrimptonís.); 17 Associationís store; 18  Pier; 19 Boathouse; 20 Temporary Episcopal Palace; 21  Part of Emigration Barracks; 22 J. R. Godley Esq.; 23  Dr Earle; 24 Sumner Parade; 29 Port Victoria. Wm Holmes. T.M.H.
 
 
View of Lyttelton from above looking out to the harbour, with Quail Island on the right, Diamond Harbour and Mount Herbert straight ahead. Sumner Road is on the left and the immigration barracks, John Robert Godley's house and the Esplanade  marked with numbers.

Margin below image in ink in Dr Hockenís hand: Town of Lyttelton March 1851 T.M. Hocken; label: Na Te Hakena Tenei Tiki; note by W. Holmes transcribed in ink by Dr Hocken: VII. College Wood. 1600 feet high. Direction of Bridle Road. Lyttelton Rectory (Rev. Mr Dudley) J. Townsend Esq. H.W. Russell Esq. Mr McFarlane. Road to cemetery. London St. Canterbury St. Mitre. Esplanade. Lyttelton Arms Hotel. Longden & Le Crenís iron store. Mr Alportís store. Lyttelton Times Office (Mr Shrimptonís.) Associationís store. Pier. Boathouse. Temporary Episcopal Palace. Part of Emigration Barracks. J.R. Godley Esq. Dr Earle. Sumner Parade. Port Victoria. Wm Holmes. T.M.H.
 
 
Canterbury Plains from the Heathcote River: Margin below image in ink in Dr Hocken's hand: 1. Southern Alps Snowy mts, distant 100 miles; 3 Riccarton Bush; 4 Christchurch; 5 Papanui;  6 Harewood Forest; 7 Sandhills; 8 Heathcote river; 9 Road to Lyttelton; 10 Road to Christchurch; 12 Townsend's house; 13 Swamps. Wm Holmes
 
Sailing ships began transporting goods from Lyttelton. First they had to sail through the shifting sands of the Sumner Bar, and long delays, or worse still shipwrecks, were common.The Heathcote was tidal for eight miles, but the sharp bends, the wind from the hills and the swamp flats made navigating difficult. To assist the ships a towpath 25 feet wide was built on each side of the river. Bullocks and horses pulled the ships through the most difficult sections, except where the ground was too swampy for the animals to walk across it. Rowing boats from the larger vessels pulled them through these stretches.Wharves were built on the north side of the river and industries were established with river access. One wharf was near the point where the Steam Wharf Stream joins the Heathcote. Here there was room for the ships to turn and the Steam Wharf became a busy port. Cargo was taken to the town by carts and drays pulled by horses or bullocks. Once the railway to Ferrymead was opened in 1863 and the Lyttelton railway tunnel was opened in 1867 the role of the Heathcote in transport diminished greatly. Drawing from the Hocken Library

A ferry service across the Heathcote river was established in 1850 and operated under a succession of ferrymen until displaced by a bridge in 1864.  Although it was possible to cross the Heathcote further upstream, the ferry lay on the main route of travel from Lyttelton to Christchurch.  The original crossing point was under the present road bridge.  In 1852 the site of the ferry was moved 400 yards upstream closer to Ferrymead House.  The shingle which was laid down to give a firm footing is still visible at low tide.  A cart service was available to transport passengers from the base of the Bridle Path to the ferry along the route of the modern Bridle Path Rd.  The most direct route to the city was via Ferry Rd.  In early 1851, one hundred labourers were employed to make  Ferry Rd fit for traffic.  Construction was completed before the end of the year.  In 1852 Beresford's Royal Mail cart, the first public passenger vehicle in Christchurch, began carrying passengers between the town and the ferry, but in the early stage of settlement, foot traffic still dominated. 

 
 
Artist Wm Fox: Lower right written with brush: On the Sumner Road, Canterbury, NZ. Jan.1851; On sketchbook mount: On the Sumner Road, Canterbury 1851; on flypage of sketchbook in ink: Thomas Morland Hocken from Sir William Fox. Sir William Fox who well  the interest I took in old New Zealand & was a frequent visitor at my house, promised to bequeath me these sketches which he commenced to take from the time of his arrival in New Zealand in 1842.
 

Christchurch in 1852; Creator; A C Barker: Through image in ink in Dr Hockenís hand: [numerals]; 1 Port Hills, 2 Worcester Street, 4 Oxford Terrace, 5 Land Office Bridge, first bridge in Christchurch; Dr Barkerís house, known as the Black house; 7 Clarendon Hotel )Brittan's house (Municipal council held here); 12 First Land Office, next site of Municipal buildings); 18 Grammar School; 15 Mr Criddland's house; 16 St Michaels; 18 Barker's stable close to Cathedral Square; 19 White Hart Hotel; 20 Worcester St; 21 Site of Bishop Harper's first house 

Margin below image in ink in Dr Hocken's hand:  label: Na Te Hakena Tenei Tiki; note by W. Holmes transcribed in ink by Dr Hocken: 1. Snowy mountains distant 100 miles; 2 Harewood Forest; 3 Plains. N.B. The lines show the streams with which they abound; 4 Riccarton Wood near which DeanŪs Farm lies; 5 Heathcote River; 6 Avon River; 7 The Ferry; 8 Pacific Ocean; 9 Back of Mt Pleasant Range. 10 The Flats; 11 Road to Christchurch via the Ferry; 12 Bridle Road; 13 Top of the Hills 1300 feet above the sea. W.Holmes. T.M.H;

Artist: Edmund Norman - Canterbury Plains, the Estuary, and Pegasus Bay from the top of the Bridle Path on the Port Hills,. View dates from about 1850-54. (In pencil by later hand): 1850) Edmund Norman was in New Zealand in the 1840s, and returned in 1850. He was appointed to a surveying post in Kaikoura in 1852; but during the time, he travelled around as an artist. The original drawing for this work may have been done in 1850 or at any time in the early 1850s.

Doctor Alfred Barker sailed with his family as surgeon on board the "Charlotte Jane" in 1850 and from about 1858 he photographed the progress of the city of Chrishurch