Lyttelton’s original streets each represented an Anglican Bishopric of the mother country to demonstrate the settlement’s Church of England links through the Canterbury Association’s 9 bishops:
Norwich Quay – (Norwich is the beautiful East Anglian Cathedral City in Norfolk).
London Street – (after England’s capital city).
Winchester Street – (Winchester has the longest Cathedral in Europe and is Hampshire’s County town).
Exeter Street – (Exeter is Devon’s County town and its Cathedral has the longest stretch of unbroken gothic vaulting in the world).
Ripon Street – (Ripon in Yorkshire is Britain’s oldest city, being granted a charter by Alfred The Great in 886);
St. David Street – (St David’s is in Pembrokeshire, Wales it is dominated by an historic castle).
Oxford Street – (Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire famous for its university).
Canterbury Street – (Canterbury in Kent has the ancient cathedral that is the seat of the Archbishop)
Dublin Street – (Dublin is the capital city of Eire, it was a bishopric in1850.)
Many of Lyttelton’s streets are named to commemorate the people who contributed to our community over the last 155 years.
Bridle Path – This was the original route over the Port Hills that the early settlers took to reach Christchurch with the aid of horse or donkey.
Brenchley Road – Originally known as Gooseberry Hill, Brenchley farm was built here. The name Brenchley came from the family estate of A.J. Alport’s wife; Alport was an early merchant, clerk to Captain Thomas and responsible for his accounts in 1849; he arranged the only shipping link to Sumner between 1850 – 51. He was the first Master of the Lodge of Unanimity, Lyttelton.
Brittan Terrace – Named after W.G. Brittan, an early landowner.
Buxtons Road – Captain Tom Buxton owner of several sailing vessels regularly called at port in the early days. This was a private road until the council took it over in 1897.
Charlotte Jane Quay – Named after one of the First Four Ships that arrived in Lyttelton in December 1850; 1950 saw the re-enactment of her arrival using a suitably transformed Darra.
Coleridge Terrace – Originally known as Cut Through Lane as it was a short cut from Hawkhurst Road (then lower Jacksons Road) to Winchester and Dublin Streets before a landslip separated each end; in some books it has been referred to as Cut Throat Lane due to a misprint of the early name! Later named Coleridge Terrace after Rev. Edward Coleridge on the management committee of The Canterbury Association (this was originally Church land). It was also known as The Cutting due to excavations behind The Lyttelton Club. At some point after 1911, a landslip steepened the path on the terrace separating No.10 and 11 from the rest of the street.
College Road and Lane– Named after the land on which it stood, that belonged to Christ’s College that had it's early beginnings in Lyttelton.
Cornwall Road – Known by locals as Jack’s Hill after the many miners from Cornwall who lived in cottages in this area while they excavated the rail tunnel (1862-1867). Initially it was called Little Brenchley Road , until it was changed to Cornwall Road in 1912.
Cressy Terrace – Commemorates one of the First Four Ships that arrived in Lyttelton on December 27th 1850. This was originally the old Governors Bay road built in 1865 and renamed Cressy Terrace in 1912 after the building of the new road.
Cunningham Terrace – Was named after wealthy landowner and grain exporter of the pioneer period: Peter Cunningham. Early deeds show he owned the land along where Cunningham Terrace now stands, his land included part of R.S 40 and T.S 291,292,299-301.
Cunningham is believed to have built Number 2 Cunningham Terrace for his residence c1874. He lived in Lyttelton and became a grain exporter in 1871 when, at the age of 30, he was said to have been the largest grain exporter and this was the same year he bought Peacock’s wharf. During his four years living here he was energetically involved in much work around the port and borough of Lyttelton and his business was said to be worth £300,000. He was a founder member on the Harbour Board; it's chairman from 1883 until his death in 1896, by which time he had moved to Merivale.
Cyrus Williams Quay – Named after J.R. Cyrus Williams, the highly respected engineer and secretary for the Harbour Board; appointed as engineer in 1902 and responsible for major harbour improvements. (His intricate 1924 scale model of the Port of Lyttelton can be seen in Lyttelton Museum.)
Dalleys Lane – This West Lyttelton street was named after the Dalley family who were resident here. Originally a private road, the Council made it a public street in 1897. Most famous of this family was William (Bill) Dalley, born here in 1901, a renowned All Black rugby player.
Days Road – Another private road that became a public street in 1897, named after George Day, the coasting Master of the schooner Flirt; the Day family settled in Sumner in 1849 where they had an accommodation house. Day worked preparing the immigration barracks for the arrival of the First Four Ships in 1850.
Donald Street – This small street between Lyttelton Museum and The British Hotel was so named after Dr William Donald, Port Medical Officer who arrived in 1848. He was a medical practitioner as well as Resident Magistrate, Inspector of Immigrants, Provincial and Borough Councillor and first Chairman of the Municipal Council. He was well loved as ‘the uncrowned king of Lyttelton’ (and also noted for keeping a pet monkey and magpie).
Dudley Road – Rev. Benjamin Dudley arrived on Cressy with his wife and 4 children. He was the first vicar of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. The council took over this private road in 1897.
Flimwell Lane – Is called Jacob’s Ladder by older residents due to its many steps! The council took it over in 1920. The origin of Flimwell is from the early landowner Rev. Benjamin Woolley Dudley, who was curate of the Parish of Ticehurst in Sussex, England. His parish included St Augustine of Canterbury Church in the village of Flimwell in Sussex. Flimwell suffered in the 1200’s under the retaliations of Henry III when he had 300 of the villagers beheaded.
Foster Terrace – Named after Mr William Thomas Foster, Mayor 1929 – 31; Member of Lyttelton Borough Council for nearly 40 years; Deputy Mayor at the time of his death in 1945. He was a member of the Loyal City of Norwich Oddfellows Lodge, Lyttelton since 1885 and its Secretary of for 40 years. He and his wife lived at 47 Jacksons Rd from their wedding day until they moved to Reserve Terrace 26 years later.
George Seymour Quay – Named after the Sir George Seymour; one of the First Four Ships.
Gilmour Terrace– In honour of Dr B. H. Gilmour, Lyttelton physician, who died in 1948.
Gladstone Quay – Named after William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) the English Liberal Premier of the mid nineteenth century.
Godley Quay – Named after John Robert Godley the agent for the Canterbury Association 1850.
Harmans Road – Originally called Cavendish Road before 1912 after Hon. Richard Cavendish MP; Canterbury Association member. The actual port area of Lyttelton harbour was also originally called Cavendish Bay after him, but renamed Erskine Bay after a popular Lyttelton sea captain who was commanding officer of the vessel Havannah. In 1912 it became Harmans Road after 24 year old civil engineer / surveyor R.J.S Harman, who arrived in the Sir George Seymour in 1851. Harman was elected to the Council of the Society of Land Purchasers and set up a land agency. He was also emigration agent and later elected onto the Provincial Council; he was a commissioner for the extension of Sumner Road through Evans Pass to provide transport access between the port and the plains.
Hawkhurst Road – Named after Lord Lyttelton’s County seat in Sussex, England, originally known as Salt’s Gully, after Eli Salt (brick maker and builder) who built the first house here and had brick-fields here and in Voelas Road; his bricks are still found in Lyttelton marked with E S. This road is still known as The Gully by many locals. It was a private road until taken over by the Council in 1897. The bottom of Hawkhurst Road, prior to the building of the 1964 road tunnel, was originally called Jackson’s Terrace.
Jackson’s Road – Is named after Rev. Thomas Jackson original Bishop-designate for the proposed diocese of Lyttelton, (who did not stay long in Lyttelton as he had not realised how much still needed doing to set up the church and returned to England to ‘raise funds’ but he did not return). This road was taken over by the council in 1897; there was originally Upper Jacksons Road, Lower Jacksons Road and Jacksons Terrace(the latter becoming a part of Hawkhurst Road after the construction of the 1964 road tunnel).
Joyce Street – Originally called Monkeytown. Then named after John Joyce, who started a deep sea fishing company in Lyttelton; became Lyttelton Councillor; Lyttelton representative on the Board of Education; Chairman of the first school Committee of Lyttelton West School 1887, Superintendent of the Lyttelton Sunday School and M.P. 1887-99.
Keebles Lane – The old house (47 Dublin Street), which the lane runs alongside, was the home of Captain Keeble.
Kenners Lane – Was originally known as Goat Alley; a pedestrian right of way that connects Coleridge Terrace and Jacksons Road. Originally it was a pathway across land belonging to and between No. 3 and 2 Coleridge Tce, then in 1897 the Lyttelton Borough Council took over responsibility for it as a public right of way. This is when it became Kenners Lane, after early Lyttelton Councillor (1871-1876) John Kenner who lived at 3, Coleridge Terrace alongside Goat Alley. John Kenner(1819-1892) was a carter and coal merchant who owned several properties in this area he let the house and stables to the police as a Police house in the 1860’s. His coal yard and carting business with stable was on Norwich Quay.
His daughters Miss Louisa Kenner and Mrs Ellen Bromley lived alongside Kenner’s Lane at 3, Coleridge Terrace until they died in 1941 and 1945. Louisa Kenner was Lyttelton’s librarian for over 30 years, from 1896-1930; Ellen was the local piano teacher. The family grave is well marked by a headstone in the Wesleyan part of the cemetery on Reserve Terrace.
Norton Close – Was named after J.T. Norton, who owned the bakery on Oxford Street below the Excelsior Hall (Norton’s inscription is still on the building). J.T. Norton invented Norton’s famous egg preserver.
Pages Road – Another private road that was taken over as a public street by the Borough Council in 1897, named after its West Lyttelton resident family. Originally named after Francis Joseph Page, who was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1838; he was involved in the construction of the paddle steamer Lyttelton in Liverpool in 1878 and sailed as a crewmember (carpenter) on the delivery voyage, arriving in Lyttelton on 21st November 1878. Francis laid claim to a piece of land in West Lyttelton where he lived the rest of his life until 7th May 1915; this became Page’s Road.
Eliza Page and their six children followed Francis to Lyttelton on the sailing ship Lurine that arrived in Lyttelton on 21st February 1882; sadly Eliza died a few years later on 24th December 1886. Two of Francis and Eliza’s children; Dave and Jack operated Page Bros Coal and Firewood Merchants on Norwich Quay from 1901-1948. Dave married Olga Smith (born in Lvov, Poland 24th April 1871) they had four children: Olga Alice, Lionel David, Milford Laurenson (Curly) and Frederick Joseph.
Best known of these Page brothers were: ‘Curly’ Laurie Page 1903 – 1987, All Black and New Zealand cricketer and Professor Fred. Page; composer and musician, Professor of Music at Victoria University. Frederick married well-known New Zealand artist Evelyn Margaret Page neé Polson.
Randolph Terrace – Originally Upper Reserve Terrace, renamed in 1912 after one of the First Four Ships.
Reserve Terrace – Named after the land set aside in this area as the Town Reserve by the Canterbury Association’s planners.
Ross Terrace – Originally Selwyn Terrace, renamed after Mr Ross the school teacher who taught at Lyttelton Borough High School (Lyttelton Main) 1876 - 1898.
Seaview Terrace – This is off Cressy Terrace (with pedestrian access only). Malcolm Miller built this terrace of houses when he purchased old church land that had been intended for a cemetery but was instead sold to raise funds for the building of St Saviour’s vicarage in 1896. Mr Miller had ships that transported wood from Australia that was used as dunnage. When he had surplus timber he built houses with it. This row of houses, now numbered 2-7 Seaview Terrace, were built by him and also at 40-44 Brittan Terrace above ‘Sandy Bay’ were the ‘Miller’s houses’ where his employees lived; overlooking his boat yard.
Selwyn Road, Parade and Lane – Named after Bishop Augustus Selwyn who arrived in Lyttelton in 1851 on his new mission schooner (90 tons) Border Maid.
Shackleton Terrace – Baden Norris, the curator of Lyttelton Museum, proposed to the council that this be named after Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer and commander of he Nimrod expedition 1907 – 8; (junior officer to R F Scott in Discovery 1901 – 4). Shackelton used Lyttelton stevedoring firm J. J. Kinsey as his official agent 1907 – 1909.
Simeon Quay – Named after Charles Simeon, who arrived in 1851 and succeeded J.R.Godley as resident Magistrate for Lyttelton and Christchurch. In 1853 he was Commissioner of Police for Lyttelton and Sheriff of the Province; later he became Speaker for the Provincial Council. Simeon Quay is a very old area of Lyttelton; originally called Dampiers Bay Road (named after lawyer and Provincial Council member C.E. Dampier who occupied neighbouring sections 239-245 in 1850 when he arrived with the documents of the Canterbury Association.) Simeon Quay was East of Dampiers Bay: which was an old Maori bathing place before the bay was filled in with reclamation material (1870s). West of the beach was Monkeytown (see Joyce Street) consisting of many tiny cottages; at the Western end of Simeon Quay were many orchards.
Somes Road – Named after the director of the Canterbury Association. Maria Somes originally owned rural section 1, north of Lyttelton town.
Stevenson’s Steep – Is an original steep pathway linking St David Street to Reserve Terrace that ran past the Stevenson’s cottage. It became a Council road in the 20th century; locals always knew it as Stevenson’s Hill, but a technicality stated that a right of way couldn’t be named as a hill. The Stevensons were well known to Lytteltonians, Mr Stevenson (a caretaker of Lyttelton Main School) and Mrs Stevenson who provided a loving home for many foster children and did much good work for the school.
Sumner Road – This was intended to be the original route, via Sumner, for the early settlers to Christchurch, but the expense and time involved in its construction mean't that the Bridle Path was completed first and Sumner Road not completed until 1857. A satirical rhyme by Crosbie Ward was written about its construction:
“The Sumner Road, the Sumner Road! Which burly Thomas first began. Where Dobson all his skill bestowed, Fitzgerald drove and Ronnage ran; eternal talking still goes on, but nothing, save the work is done.”
Sutton Quay – After Mr Frederick E Sutton, as an office boy from 1901 – 13, Fred carried messages to the British Polar ships Discovery-Terra Nova. He became Chairman of the Lyttelton Harbour Board and was Lyttelton’s Mayor 1925 – 29, 1931-33 and 1935-44.
Ticehurst Road – A private street, taken over by the Borough Council in 1897. Named from connections of the early landowner Rev. Benjamin Woolley Dudley, who was curate of the Parish of Ticehurst in Sussex, England.
Upham Terrace – Named in 1937 in honour of Dr C. H. Upham, Lyttelton’s much loved doctor who lived on the corner of Winchester and Canterbury streets, where he had his Practice. His dog Georgie followed him everywhere as he walked Lyttelton streets to visit his patients. He was a skilled water colourist, his many portraits of Lyttelton citizens are to be found in the Lyttelton Museum. Dr Upham died in 1950; his memorial the ‘Upham Clock’ was erected in the Rose gardens above Oxford Street; where it still stands looking down Winchester Street to his house. Voelas Road
– Named after Charlotte Godley’s Welsh home, she was J.R. Godley’s wife. Voelas Road was an early private road that commenced at Godley Quay, it originally was a winding path and all the early houses’ front doors faced south onto the original zigzag path. The Borough Council took it over in 1897; the convict labour gang, who levelled Lyttelton West Playgrounds and built its terrace walls, also built the wider public road. Once the new road was built, the new houses that were built faced onto it, so those with even numbers face west and odd numbers face east. This gives a good indication of which were the earliest homes built here.
Walkers Road – In 1920 this new street was taken over by the council. In 1913 Mr L.C Walker became the Lyttelton Borough Council town planner responsible for the organisation of the town- planning scheme for a 349-acre estate: a suburb at Diamond Harbour (made possible after the Lyttelton Borough Extension Act of 1911 and poll of 1913.) This initially had 76 quarter- acre allotments, eight of these for a reservoir, recreation ground and a quarry. It is unclear if the road is named after Mr L.C. Walker or the Walker family who were residents with long association to Lyttelton; Dorothy Walker taught at adjoining Lyttelton West School 1910 – 1912. Walker’s Lane was also known as Nappy Alley due to the many young families that lived along here when the houses were built with government assisted loans post WW2.
Watsons Lane – On 14th November 1881, Mr Alexander Watson, shipwright, who lived at 29 Sumner Road sold an 18 foot long strip of land to the Borough Council for £100 so steps could be built to connect Sumner Road with Reserve Terrace as a pedestrian right of way.
Webb Lane – Named after the Webb family; originally 3 brothers who arrived in Lyttelton in 1859 and set up successful family businesses; market gardens then grocers and greengrocers in Lyttelton. They had a large old house and land at 2 Webb Lane, part of these grounds became 33 Voelas Road. The Webb brothers served 4 terms as Mayors of Lyttelton. They were also Sunday school superintendents for the Wesleyan Church on Winchester Street for over 60 years. In 1902 William Webb, John’s son, was the first New Zealander to win the World Sculling Championships at Sydney. Samuel’s son, Eric Webb M.C., D.S.O was a pupil teacher at Lyttelton District High School (Main school) and went on to become an Antarctic explorer and magnetician then going on to become the world-renowned engineer.
Research by Liza Rossie, December 2005 for the Lyttelton Information Centre.