Topic: High Street, Christchurch

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Images and history of High Street, Christchurch

High Street runs on a diagonal between Colombo and St Asaph Streets. Part of High Street is a pedrestrian area, and the area has been refurbished as part of the High Street Heritage project.

Former names
Formerly Sumner Street; and later Lower High Street.

Origin of street names
Re-named High Street. Probably named after a street in Oxford, England, The High, as Christchurch itself was named after the college in Oxford.
Sumner Road was named by Joseph Thomas (b. 1803) and Edward Jollie (1825-1894) and is one of the original streets of Christchurch. The 1850 map shows it ran from Hereford Street to St Asaph Street. An 1874 map shows Sumner Street extending as far as the East Belt (Fitzgerald Avenue). By 1875 this section has been re-named Ferry Road; by 1890 it has been re-named Lower High Street.


  • Reproduction of Edward Jollie's 1850 map of the proposed city. Department of Lands and Survey, Christchurch. Historical Maps
  • Studies on pioneer Canterbury nurserymen, p 147
  • "Street names", The Press, 2 September 1930, p 12
  • Christchurch City Contextual History Overview

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High Street, Christchurch

Street Name:High Street
Date:ca 1850