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Christchurch is considered as the oldest city of New Zealand. There are in Christchurch a large number of Gothic buildings designed by the architect Benjamin Mountfort. Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort was born in March 1825 and was an English emigre to New Zealand. He was born in Birmingham, England and was the son of Thomas Mountfort and Susanna Woolfield. In 1849 Benjamin Mountfort married Emily Elizabeth Newman and they emigrated in New Zealand in the year 1850. Benjamin Mountfort became a famous architect in the nineteenth century. Mountfort has a very bad start when he came in New Zealand; his first commission was in Lyttelton, the Church of the most Holy Trinity which broke down in high winds not long after achievement. He got a quite bad reputation made by the newspapers at this time. After this disaster he left architecture and started giving drawing lessons until 1857, then came back to architecture and worked in partnership with Isaak Luck his sister’s husband. He was the declared the official Provincial Architect in 1864. In 1872 he designed the St Augustine’s Church in Waimate. In 1877, he designed the Canterbury College and the clock Tower, St Paul’s Church. He also designed the Canterbury Musuem in a French Chateau style. He designed as well the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, Christchurch Cathedral, Avonside Church Chancel, Church of the Good Sheperd, St Mary Church in Auckland, St John Cathedral in Napier.



Christchurch Benjamin Mountfort




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