The Forgotten, Earned And Unpopular Street Names Of Christchurch


Street names from the Canterbury Association that didn’t stick…

The North, South,East and West Belts – Bealey, Moorhouse, Fitzgerald and Deans Aves – named after Canterbury’s three of the Superintendents and the Deans family of Riccarton.

Antigua Street (part of) – Rolleston Ave – named after Canterbury’s fourth Superintendent, William Rolleston.  Once a strip of land reserved for a mill race, the road once a part of Antigua Street was renamed to honour Rolleston due his role in developing education not only for Canterbury but for New Zealand.

Sumner Road – High Street (pictured in the 1890’s) – Early maps show that Sumner Road sat between Hereford and St Asaph Streets.  In 1874, the term of Sumner Road was extended to meet with the East Belt (Fitzgerald Ave).  This second extension was renamed Ferry Road in 1875 and the remaining Sumner Road became known as High Street.

Harewood Road – Riccarton Road – named after the suburb of Riccarton. I believe that the Harewood Road of Riccarton was once connected to today’s Harewood Road of Bishopdale as these two roads have the same history.

Whately Road – Victoria Street – named after the Archbishop of Dublin and Canterbury Association member Richard Whately. Renamed to Victoria Street in 1877 when 61 residents petitioned for the name change. The term of Whately Road was slow to disappear – it was still in use as late as 1886.

Waterloo Terrace – Cambridge Terrace – the section of  road from the Oxford on the Avon to the Centennial Leisure Pools (both demolished due to quake damage) appeared on early maps as Waterloo Terrace.  It was incorporated into Cambridge Terrace by the 1870’s.

Street names that were earned by those who lived there

The Zig Zag – Sumner Road, Lyttelton.

Bishop Street – Greers Road (the section between Harewood and Northcote Roads) As there were already a Bishop Street in both Papanui and St Albans, it was getting a bit confusing. The Bishop and Greers families both farmed in the area.

Rhodes Road – Innes Road – Named after David Innes who farmed at Springfield – now remembered in the naming of Springfield Road, Merivale. The Rhodes family lived at the estate of Elmwood on Heaton Street (named after Sir Heaton Rhodes) and Innes Road was the track they used to get to Mairehau (named after Rose Mairehau Rhodes) and Rhodes Swamp (now known as Marshlands) where they also owned land.

Windmill Road – Antigua Street – named after W.D. Wood’s flour mill. When the windmill was demolished, Windmill Road became an extension of Antigua Street.

Corletts Lane – Curletts Road – was once the driveway to the farm owned by the Corletts family. The term Curletts is a typo error that was failed to be corrected.

Dudley Creek Road – Banks Ave – Dudley Creek is still us, weaving its way from Bishopdale all the way to Dallington, the area where the Dudley brothers farmed in the early 1850’s.

Wilderness Road – Barrington Street – Wilderness Road led to the Wilderness Farm owned by John Parker Marshman. The land was further sold to the Simeon family who named the area Barrington, after Charles Simeon’s mother’s maiden name.

Cutlers Road – Matipo Street – the merging of Cutlers and Thompson Roads resulted in this renaming in 1930.

Chinaman’s Lane – Mandeville Street – known for the Chinese gardens that sat at the southern end. Also known as Mandeville’s Swamp after 1857, William Drogo Montagu or to his friends the Viscount Mandeville was a member of the Canterbury Association and owned 350 acres off Riccarton Road.

Deans Lane – Straven Road – was known as the track used by Riccarton Farm to take their hoof stock to the Addington Stockyards on Deans Ave. It also seems the name Straven is also in association with the Deans – the Scottish word Straven is from the word Strathaven, which was a town in Scotland where William and John Deans grandfather was a doctor in 1750. This is purely my own speculation.

Queen Street – Buchan Street – named after John Buchan, a novelist, publisher and politician. This name change happened on the 1st September 1948, along with 120 other streets!

Southwark Street – George Street – renamed after the bishopric of Southwark. George Allan was the proprietor of the New Zealander Hotel and paid the C.C.C 20 pounds to construct George Street on land that he owned. It was renamed in 1909.

Bealey’s Track – West Coast Road – named after brothers, John and Samuel Bealey (the latter being our 3rd Superintendent) who would use the track to travel from Christchurch to their 45,000 acre farm, named Haldon. Haldon sat between the Selwyn and Rakaia Rivers.

North Road – Main North Road – the cabbage trees of Burnside High School were once a place of rest and ritual for the traveling Maori.  It is mostly likely that from these trees, a well known trail was used to head north to the Ngai Tahu Kaikai-a-waro Pa (once the home to 1000 Ngai Tahu), now the modern Kaiapoi.  Also used by the Europeans from the 1850’s onwards, this trail became a bullock track.  The term ‘North Road’ was first used in 1887.

Gasworks Road – Waltham Street – The term Gasworks Road first appeared in 1871 as the was where the Christchurch Gasworks was located.  In 1889, the C.C.C. made the suggestion to rename the road to Langdown Street to honour the recently retired Mayor William Langdown.  This was rejected by residents although from 1910 to 1948, a section of the road was known as such.  The term Waltham – which was in use from 1866 onwards – came from Charles Prince’s accommodation house -Waltham House – that sat on Gasworks Road.

Pound Road – Brougham Street – with the arrival of the city’s animal pound from Market Place (now the site of the Bowker Foundation in Victoria Square) in 1864, this unnamed road finally found its namesake from Christchurch’s lost and unloved animals.

Street names that didn’t stick

Accommodation Road – Clyde Road – named after the Clyde River of Scotland in connection with the Deans.


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