Old Saint Paul's

Old St. Paul's is a former cathedral in the Diocese of Wellington of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. It is an example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. It is at 34 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand, close to the New Zealand Parliament.

Old St. Paul's was designed by Reverend Frederick Thatcher, then vicar of St. Paul's, Thorndon.

The foundation stone was laid by Sir George Grey in August 1865. The church was consecrated by Bishop Abraham on Trinity Sunday, the 27th of May, 1866.

It is constructed entirely from New Zealand native timbers, with stunning stained glass windows. The interior has been likened to the upturned hull of an Elizabethan galleon - exposed curving trusses and kauri roof sarking.

The flags displayed in the nave include the ensigns of the Royal Navy, the New Zealand Merchant Navy and the United States Marine Corps (second division), which was stationed in Wellington during World War II. The church retains close links with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Some of the walls and columns of Old St. Paul's are decorated with memorial plaques, including many dedicated to those who fought and died in World War I. There is a plaque in memory of Wellington historian J.C. Beaglehole, most famous for his biography of explorer James Cook.

In 1964 the Diocese of Wellington moved to the new St Paul's Cathedral, and after a significant battle to prevent the demolition of Old St. Paul's it was purchased by the New Zealand Government in 1967, and subsequently restored by the, then, Ministry of Works and Development.

Old St. Paul's is now managed by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. While no longer a parish church, it remains consecrated, and is a popular venue for weddings, funerals and other services.

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