Edmonds' Clock Tower

The Edmonds' Clock Tower was built in 1929 as part of the River Bank Improvement Scheme with contributions made by Thomas Edmonds.

Edmonds Clock Tower
Edmonds Clock Tower. © Christchurch Star

In 1929, to celebrate fifty years of living in Christchurch, Thomas J. Edmonds (1858-1932), the founder of Edmonds' Baking Powder, financed the construction of a clock tower and telephone cabinet as part of his River Bank Improvement Scheme. The site chosen for both of them was originally the intersection of Madras Street, Chester Street and Oxford Terrace.

Both structures were designed by Francis Willis, and constructed by the Rennell Brothers. The sculptor was William Thomas Tretheway, who was also responsible for the statue of Captain Cook in Victoria Square.

The foundation stone was laid on 26 September 1929, on the same day as the unveiling of the foundation stones for the nearby Radiant Hall and the Thomas Edmonds’ Band Rotunda.

The stone used in the construction of the clock tower came from Halswell, Rakaia Gorge, Glenmore, Otira Gorge, Lake Kaniere, Heathcote Valley, Buller Gorge, Banks Peninsula, Connemara in Ireland and the Vatican, while Oamaru stone was used for the facing.

The clock faces are found on the eastern and western facades of the clock tower, while the northern and southern facades feature medallions displaying Father Time, who resembles Thomas Edmonds, styled as a Roman Emperor.

On each side is a band featuring one of the four words: Faith, Hope, Peace, Charity. Situated between these, at each corner, are four gargoyles holding lights in their mouths.

Although the Edmonds' Clock Tower was damaged during the 2010-2011 earthquakes, it underwent repairs during 2013-2015.