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Seddon Memorial

Richard John Seddon's Memorial is located on the original site of Wellington's first Time Service Observatory at the Kinross Street entrance to the Bolton Street Cemetery. Located under the memorial is the Seddon family tomb. It contains the remains of Rt Hon Richard Seddon (1845-1906) and Mrs Louisa Seddon (1851- 1931), daughter Mary Stuart Hay and a memorial to their son Richard John Spotswood Seddon who was killed in France in 1918.

The Memorial was designed by Government Architect, John Campbell, and built by Edwards and Son of Waring Taylor St. The design is a reinforced concrete column faced with Coromandel granite, mounted over the tomb on a square concrete base. The bronze figure at the top of the column was modelled at the London studio of Henry Poole, a young British sculptor, and cast in London by Alessandro Parlanti. The statue represents the State in mourning for its dead. In the left hand is a wreath of mourning leaves and in the right a scroll of State, with the seals dependent. The right foot rests on two books, possibly legal, and a small twig breaks the hardness of the column.

Important update: August 2020

Please do not linger close to the Seddon Memorial or surrounding paths and gardens.

A recent seismic assessment of the Seddon Memorial has found that the structure is below the recommended minimum level of the New Building Standard, and it is now considered earthquake-prone.  

The Memorial does not pose a risk under normal circumstances, but there is a risk of the column falling during a significant earthquake.

We are working quickly to carry out the work required to ensure the Memorial’s surroundings are made safe, and appropriate signage has been installed at the site.

Updates on the progress of this work will be provided on this webpage.

If you have any queries, please email [email protected] with ‘Seddon Memorial’ in the subject line or telephone (04) 499 4229.


Location of the Seddon Memorial.

Learn more about Richard John Seddon in his Dictionary of New Zealand Biography profile on Te Ara.

Bolton Street Memorial Park.

Updated on 3rd August 2020