Addington Water Tower Is Built – 1883

In 1883, one of the world’s first reinforced concrete structures – with the additional use of steel and cast iron – was erected in Christchurch. It was the Addington Water Tower.

Prison labour was used to build it and before it was finished, the tower had already sunk 9 inches. The tower is 21.9 metres high.

What a grand moment it would have been for the Canterbury Provincial Council to have opened New Zealand’s first Railway Workshops. The year was 1863 and what an achievement for Christchurch!

These humble beginnings were replaced in 1879 and were known as the Addington Railway Workshops. In its Hey Day, 2000 men were employed there and locomotives, passenger carriages and goods wagons were manufactured there. It’s not hard to imagine that a high pressure water system was needed and in 1883, the Water Tower was built – after all it was the South Island’s biggest industrial concern.

*image courtesy of Annette Bulovic*

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