Four Victorian Bridges to visit in Christchurch, New Zealand

Getting to the other side: go for a walk and check out these old bridges

Despite its calm appearance, the Avon River claimed many lives in the past and getting to the other side was difficult so bridges were of vital importance to the settlers- here are justa few of the inner city bridges that make an intersting walk. ( See also my blog on Victoria /Market Square)

Papanui Bridge

. . . was the first to open and when it closed in 1863 because it was unsafe, it was missed even though a narrow swing bridge on Gloucester St replaced it for pedestrians and the Manchester St Bridge was built the same year for the total cost of 240 pound. (New Zealand currency used pounds shilling and pence until 1968 and when it change one pound became two dollars)

Ironwork for the new bridge was ordered from England (costing 3000 pounds) and when it reopened in 1864, the councillors arrived in a yellow wagonette drawn by four horses and officially opened the it with a bottle of champagne being broken on it to give it the new name of Victoria Bridge. It used to carry the tram towards Papanui, is now a footbridge and has been opened in the centre so the ironwork that supports it can be seen.

Worcester St

A footbridge on Worcester St was swept away in the 1868 floods and the following year it was replaced by the iron bridge that now stands there: although full-sized it now only carries pedestrians and the tram.

Antigua St

A footbridge was built here in 1868 while the Cashel St Bridge (where the various war remembrances are) is now called the Bridge of Remembrance and was completed in 1873.

Christchurch is fortunate to have these wonderful examples of Victorian work and many are under-light so their beauty can be admired at night too.