Seddon Memorial

Ornate concrete column behind wrought iron fence

Concrete column surrounded by iron fence and gravestones. Concrete column surrounded by iron fence with bollards and road in the foreground. Female figure in bronze. Inlaid marble plaque on the base of concrete column.

The Seddon 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 during the First World War 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 British sculptor Henry Poole 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 is on two books, possibly legal, and a small twig breaks the hardness of the column.

In 2021–2022, the memorial was restored and seismically strengthened.

More information

Richard John Seddon – Dictionary of New Zealand Biography entry

Richard John Seddon – Friends of Bolton Street Cemetery entry

Richard John Spotswood Seddon – Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph entry

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