Story: Historic places

Demolition of St Paul's Church, 1885 (3rd of 3)

Demolition of St Paul's Church, 1885

St Paul's Church, which stood on Point Britomart in Auckland, is shown here in the last stages of demolition in 1885. The church's vicar, C. M. Nelson, marked the occasion by promising to present a handsome copy of the Bible to the last couple married in the church. On the final day the church was open a bookseller wed his beloved and then they congratulated themselves on winning the prize. However, a chemist conceived a cunning plan to marry while the church was being deconstructed. According to a press report: 'with the roof partly off, the windows out, the workmen scattered around, and plaster flying about, he brought his bride before the fast disappearing altar, and they left the building man and wife. This is how the chemist stole a march on the bookseller and scored the parson's Bible.'

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: 4-RIC374
Photograph by James D. Richardson

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Historic places - Colonial ideas and practice', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2022)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 22 Oct 2014, updated 19 Aug 2016