Christchurch’s First Public Well – 10th February 1864

On 10 February 1864, work men from the Christchurch City Council were driving a 2 inch thick pipe down into the ground on the corner of Tuam and High Streets looking for water. Although back then, it was the corner of Tuam Street and Ferry Road.

The pipe reached the depth of 25 metres when signs of life began to show. Suddenly the pressure of their find blew water up in the air about 3 metres!

This was to become Christchurch’s first public well. An ornamental pond with a cast-iron fencing was made and this was the water supply for those who had made that part of town home. The well produced 60 gallons (227 Litres) of water per minute.

Just 5 days later, on 15 February, another well was ‘sunk’ (what an odd term) in Cathedral Square.

The first public well, at the corner of Tuam and High Streets was closed down and made into a garden in the 1930’s. This garden still stands in silent testimony to what was once a busy hub of activity, outside what was once Alice In Videoland.

*Heritage photo courtesy of Canterbury Heritage Blog Spot –
*current photo taken of Annette Bulovic*

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