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Old St Paul's Church

Old St Paul's is a fine example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. Designed by the Reverend Frederick Thatcher, then vicar of St Paul's parish Thorndon, the first Anglican cathedral of Wellington is considered his best work.

Constructed entirely from native timbers, the glowing interior is enhanced by stunning stained glass windows. Memorial items and displays tell the early history of Wellington.

No longer a parish church but still consecrated, Old St Paul's remains a place of spiritual significance to many and is living testimony to one of New Zealand's greatest heritage battles. It is a well-loved venue for weddings and other services, concerts, recitals and many other cultural events.

Old St Paul's is one of New Zealand's most important historic places, and is a magnificent example of timber Gothic Revival architecture. The building was erected in 1866, the second Anglican church in Thorndon. It was built on land bought by Bishop Selwyn in Mulgrave Street in 1845, augmented with a Crown grant of Māori reserve from Governor Grey in 1853.

Plans for the church were drawn up in 1862 by Reverend Frederick Thatcher (1814-1890), then vicar of St Paul's parish. Thatcher was an English-born architect, who later trained as an Anglican Minister at the College of St John's, Auckland. Both Thatcher and Selwyn were heavily influenced by the teachings of the English Ecclesiological Society (a movement that advocated a return to a Gothic style of religious architecture) and the design of the new church reflects this. The foundation stone was not laid until August 1865. It was built by John McLaggan for £3,472. The church was finally consecrated the following year.

Collection Type
Historic Site, History, Military

Contact Details
Postal address iconPO Box 2629, Wellington
Telephone number icon64-4-473 6722
Web address iconhttp://www.heritage.org.nz/places/places-to-visit/wellington-region/old-st-pauls
Email address iconoldstpauls@heritage.org.nz

Visitor Information
Physical address icon34 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand
Hours of operation iconDaily 9.30am-5pm May be closed for short periods for private functions
Charges iconNormal entry is free. Hourly guided tours of Old St Paul's: $5 per person. Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.

Wheelchair accessShopFunction SpaceGuided TourToilets
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