Mar 27, 2009

Looters Ransack Historic Site

The Rising Sun hotel was built on what had been the garden of Dr. Augustus Florance in 1865 by Frank Innes, who had arrived at Lyttelton aboard the Sebastopol two years earlier. 

Situated in the Christchurch suburb of St Albans and more infamously known as the Rising Hell, the much altered and extended hotel became the Caledonian in 1878. As such it continued to enjoy something of a louche reputation until closing in late 2007.

The extensive site was undergoing evaluation by archaeologists from the University of Otago when the dig was raided during the night of the 26th of March, 2009. Artefacts and layers of information critical to archaeological analysis were destroyed as the looters picked over the site, upon which it's reported that sixty town-houses are to be built.


Jayne said...

That's a damn shame!
God knows what valuable artefacts (and knowledge) are lost.

Something similar but in reverse happened in Melb recently - local council ignored applications to excavate a site but suddenly shut the whole thing down after 7 months when the valuable AU$10,000 finds made the press.

Canterbury Heritage said...

An interesting newspaper article. Here in Christchurch we're apparently fortunate to have few built heritage impediments to real estate development.

edwardothegreat said...

So disgusting, How is it that in a suburb such as St Albans, full of architectural history and character, the city council allows such development? This has been a hot topic for us St Albans residents for some time now, I really felt for those who live across the road from the site, Holly road is one of the oldest roads in Christchurch and should have a heritage overlay the likes of what is done in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Caledonian is currently up for sale, using a line something like "how much land do you want?"

The rear additions to the Caledonian are pretty poor but the front should be protected, at the least converted to apartments.

It is interesting that the new CCC planning zones have most St Albans as L3 but the zone drops down to L1 as soon as it hits Merivale!

Sadly we are yet to see more loss!

Mick said...

I still see this as a viable local bar of the Pomeroy style.

Fingers crossed.