Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Great Adventure: Day Four: Russell - Christ Church - Part Two

Yesterday I posted some photos of Christ Church and today I shall finish that by posting about a few of the graves.  But before that I shall answer a question by Rae and Pauline arising from yesterday's post.  It related to the tapestry cushions.   In 1990 a project to fit the pews with tapestry-covered cushions was established.  These cushions last until the next century.  Local artists and others have designed the cushions so that the historic scenes of Russell, local Maori history, local activities, ships of missionaries and explorers, native birds and flowers, old houses, whales and dolphins are depicted.  Sixty three embroiderers have made the cushions.  Most are from the Russell area but others are from all over New Zealand and overseas - some with former ties to Russell such as relatives of the builder, carpenter and catechist, some with holiday homes in the area, some who lived in Russell for a time and sailors who just called in on their passages.  The project was completed in 1992 when cushions for the chairs in the church were started.

Like all old churches the grave yard was educational.  


This is the first undressed gravestone I can recall


Hannah King Letheridge (now known to be the second European girl to be born in NZ),


The interest in this lies partly in its size and partly in its juxtaposition to the previous grave 


 The two graves side by side


On 11 March 1845, during the Battle of Kororareka between British forces and Maori dissatisfied with British rule, the church was hit by stray musket and cannon balls, evidence of which is still visible today but, as Pauline pointed out, we failed to photograph it.  Duh!  This is the grave of the men from HMS Hazard who fell in the battle,



The grave of Tamati Waka Nene, the Ngapuhi chief largely responsible for the Maori’s acceptance of the Treaty of Waitangi and who fought for the settlers against Hone Heke.


  1. I understand one can spend quite some time just walking around in that graveyard. I'm not sure if it's the same all over the world but I find that often the old headstones contain so much more information than modern ones. Both my grandparents graves only have "NN family grave" (just the man's name) and no dates! Choosing the headstone for mum's grave, I wanted her first name and year of birth and death on it.

  2. I too enjoy a wander around a Church yard. The air must be good out there, very little sign of acid rain on these stones.

  3. Graham, I love your photos from the church and the graveyard! Shame about the rain, I think we could have spent a lot more time in Russell.