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Sydenham, New Zealand facts for kids

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The historic Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church
The historic Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church
 • Total 2.7945 km2 (1.0790 sq mi)
 • Total 5,478
 • Density 1,960.28/km2 (5,077.1/sq mi)

Sydenham is an inner suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, located two kilometres south of the city centre, on and around the city’s main street, Colombo Street. It is a residential, retail and light industrial suburb.


Sydenham Church 15 March 2011
Sydenham Heritage Church after demolition, with the Post Office in the background

The Sydenham borough was formed in 1876 and Charles Allison advocated that the new local body in the area be the Sydenham Borough Council named after Charles Prince’s crockery and china shop on Colombo Street called "Sydenham House". The crockery shop, in turn, was named after the north-west Kent town of Sydenham, which is now a London suburb within the London Borough of Lewisham.

The first council and its first mayor, Mayor George Booth, were elected in 1877. On 31 March 1903, the borough amalgamated with the City of Christchurch and became a suburb. At that time Sydenham already had its own swimming-baths, fire-engine, cemetery and recreation grounds. Apart from the large cities, Sydenham was the largest borough in New Zealand at the time.


Entrance to Sydenham 64
Entrance to Sydenham in December 2011, with the Heritage Church and the Post Office after demolition

Sydenham is separated from the central city by the South Island Main Trunk Railway and Moorhouse Avenue. State Highway 73 runs through the southern part of Sydenham. The southern boundary of Sydenham is Tennyson Street.

Heritage buildings

Sydenham has a number of heritage buildings registered by Heritage New Zealand, with some already lost or to be lost due to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Woolstore in Durham Street is the only Category I heritage building. Coming from the south, the Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church formed an entry into the strip shopping area along Colombo Street, but the church was controversially demolished shortly after the February earthquake.

Nazareth House Chapel is located west of Sydenham Park and belongs to a retirement village. Blackheath Place are residential brick terrace houses that are rather uncommon in New Zealand. Three registered cottages are located in Shelley and Tennyson Streets.

12 Drummond Street Sydenham Christchurch New Zealand Historic Totara Cottage 1876
This historic cottage is typical of settler housing in Sydenham Christchurch. It was built in 1876 from totara.
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