The Octagon In Dunedin

The Octagon in Dunedin

My destination was St Paul’s Cathedral which today stands on the northern edge of The Octagon. However, back in the 1850’s after Otago was first settled, if the Anglican Church community’s vision had come to pass, the Cathedral would now be sitting directly in the middle of the Octagon. When the plans for Dunedin city were first laid out in 1846, space for an Octagonal reserve was left in the city centre. A few years later, while the Anglican community were looking for a location to build a church, they decided the central Octagonal Reserve would be an excellent site and applied directly to the Governor-General for permission to build. One group that wasn’t happy with this idea was the Presbyterian community and when they found out about the building plans, all hell broke loose. In fact, the public outcry was so large that the Otago Superintendent William Cargil had to step in to sortout the mess. The result was the Anglican Church of St Paul’s Cathedral was moved to its now northern locale. Which, if you stand on its steps, has a pretty commanding view.

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