Hamish Hay Bridge

Christchurch, New Zealand

Hamish Hay Bridge

Hamish Hay Bridge (also known as Victoria Street Bridge; previously Victoria Bridge and initially variably Papanui Bridge and Market Place Bridge) is located in Victoria Square, Christchurch, New Zealand. Built in 1864, it was renamed in 1989 for Sir Hamish Hay, Mayor of Christchurch; a commemorative bronze plaque is affixed to the bridge's guard rail in the middle of the structure to honor Hay's services. The bridge, the oldest heritage feature in the square, is also the country's oldest cast iron and stone bridge. It survived the 2011 earthquake undamaged. Architectural features include the bridge arch and the balustrade's neo-gothic ornamentation. The bridge is registered as a Category II heritage structure with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Christchurch was surveyed in 1850 with a regular grid layout, interrupted by the Avon River and two diagonal roads making connections to the port in Lyttelton and to the northern hinterland. The northern diagonal crosses the Avon in an area that was set aside as a market square. A simple bridge was built to cross the river in March 1852 in the location of the current bridge. The road that the bridge served was originally called Whately Road, named after the Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Whately, who was a member of the Canterbury Association. The road name changed the Victoria Street, and the name of the market square changed to Victoria Square.

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