Mar 30, 2008

Christchurch's First House Site Located

Pioneer merchant George Gould, a carpenter and railway guard from England, made the wooden frames for his small cottage at Auckland, bringing them down to the nascent township by sea and up the Avon river to where the Barbadoes Street bridge now stands. He erected his home on the South side of Armagh Street about 50 metres East of Colombo Street in February, 1851.
Armagh Street in 1865 shows his house, with the deep veranda, in a Westerly view across Colombo Street. In the far distance can be seen the extant tower of the Provincial Council Buildings. To the far Left of the photograph is the newly completed brick residence and surgery of Dr William Deamer.

Gould's first home was eventually leased to Thomas Dillon who ran it as a kind of accommodation house and 'sporting mens' club. The old house is reputed to have been removed to Grove Road, Addington about 1900.

The same view of Armagh Street in 2007. The Gould house site (Left) is now occupied by a Photographic Studio in the Public Service Investment Society building. At the extreme Left is an alley, the city's oldest, which originally led to George Gould's commercial store rooms behind his house.

The exact position of the Gould house is verifiable by photographs taken from the watch tower of the 1876 Fire Station in Oxford Terrace (now the Plunket Society).

See a satellite image of where these photographs were taken

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