First Road To The Canterbury Plains

On the 30th December 1850, surveyor Charles O. Torlesse chained and pegged the first road to the Canterbury Plains – from this point at Church Corner, Upper Riccarton – opposite Countdown. Named Harewood Road, it was from this road that sections began to be sold to the settlers. The term Yaldhurst began to be used …

ILAM – J.C. Watts-Russell (1825 – 1875)

Jesse Watts-Russell sure helped his son J.C. when he purchased for him 500 acres from the Canterbury Association for the new colony of Christchurch. 10 acres of this was in Lyttelton and the rest would become known as Ilam. 1850 would be a huge year for J.C.; he married Elizabeth Bradshaw and the newly weds …

The Glebe Reserve

The Glebe Reserve can be found on the Main South Road, not far from the traffic lights as you head east across Curletts Road towards Church Corner, Upper Riccarton. In 1858, Rev Octavius Mathias was the proud owner of 200 acres along the beginning of Yaldhurst Road. When he purchased the land, only survey pegs …

Octavius Mathias (1805 – 1864)

Rev. Octavius Mathias – 1805 – 1864 Reverend Octavius Mathias no doubt knew that it was him behind Bishop Harper’s comment that some of the early clergymen of Canterbury just lacked the commitment. Educated at Cambridge, Octavius became a Chaplin in the Royal Navy. Taking a keen interest in New Zealand, he was one of …

Nurse Maude (1862-1935)

Sybil Maude (1862 – 1935) was born to fulfill three future options: 1. Marry well 2. Become a Governess 3. Be a lady’s companion …Sybil did none of these! The eldest of a well-to-do-family, Sybil was born in Hagley Lodge – her birth certificate  listing the Maude family under the St Peter’s Parish, Riccarton Bush, …