I like to think of Captain Thomas walking into the middle of the newly pegged street and glancing down the length of it thoughtfully. Without a word, he would open the Burke’s Peerage for inspiration, make his choice, say it out loud, glance to Edward Jollie for a reaction and if it felt right, it was noted down and would come to pass.
Lyttelton was the first township to be surveyed, followed by Sumner. By the time it was Christchurch’s turn, Captain Thomas had almost exhausted all the British names – this is why you will find more Irish, Welsh and Colonial name choices in the Christchurch’s street names.
Here are the streets broken down by nationality:
BRITISH: Cambridge, Chester, Durham, Gloucester, Hereford, Lichfield, Manchester, Oxford, Peterborough, Salisbury and Worchester.
IRISH: Armagh, Cashel, Tuam and Kilmore.
WELSH: St Asaph
COLONIAL: Montreal, Madras, Antiqua and Barbados
Today we spell Barbadoes with an ‘e’ in it thanks to Edward Jollie’s typo error that wasn’t corrected!
Colonial names are usually chosen by an association to honour sponsors or someone VERY important. Here are some more examples of the other Colonial names chosen for parts of Canterbury:
Ashburton, Ashley, Coleridge, Ellesmere, Godley, Heathcote, Lincoln, Lyttelton and Sumner.
This photo is of Cashel Street in 1921.
*image courtesy of
Cashel St, Christchurch. Webb, Steffano, 1880?-1967 : Collection of negatives. Ref: 1/1-005209-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/