Old St Paul's, Wellington

Old St Paul's, Wellington (must see)

One of New Zealand’s greatest heritage places, Old St Paul’s was built by the Anglican Church between 1865 and 1866 on what was originally the site of Pipitea Pā, a Māori settlement on Wellington’s waterfront.

Constructed from fine native timbers, the church is a handsome sight from the outside. Inside, it is simply breathtaking. Spectacular lighting gives the interior a rosy glow, enriching the appearance of brass fittings, stained glass windows and exquisitely embroidered furnishings.

As well as being one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the world, the former cathedral is a repository of many interesting stories, including that of its own survival. Having served the Anglican community up to the 1960s, it was threatened with demolition after the new St Paul’s was built one block away. Saved, restored and reopened to the public, today Old St Paul’s stands not only as a place of spiritual significance and a venue for special events (including weddings and concerts) but also as a reminder of one of New Zealand's great heritage battles.

Old St Paul's is now managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. While no longer used as a parish church, it remains consecrated, and is a popular venue for weddings, funerals and other services. In 2016 a celebration service of evensong was held in the cathedral to commemorate 150 years since it was consecrated.

The flags displayed in the nave include the ensigns of the Royal Navy, the New Zealand Merchant Navy and the United States Marine Corps (second division), which was stationed in Wellington during World War II. The church retains close links with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Some of the walls and columns of Old St Paul's are decorated with memorial plaques, including many dedicated to those who fought and died in World War I. There is a plaque in memory of Wellington historian John Beaglehole, most famous for his biography of explorer James Cook, but who also played a significant role in the fight to save Old St Paul's from demolition.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm (except on some public holidays and for special events)
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Old St Paul's on Map

Sight Name: Old St Paul's
Sight Location: Wellington, New Zealand (See walking tours in Wellington)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Wellington, New Zealand

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