Last Modified: 18-2-2019 21:29
Seymour square is a park in central Blenheim notable for its memorial clock tower constructed to remember those killed in the Great War (World War I). A hectare of land was originally set aside as a reserve in 1857, and named after Henry Seymour, one of the original owners of the land that subsequently became Blenheim.
In May 1896, Blenheim Borough Council called for plans for a band rotunda to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. In December of the following year, a tender by Mr. D. Wemyss of 95 pounds was accepted to build the rotunda.
Seymour Square was selected by popular vote in 1925 as the site for a war memorial to the Great War, and the clock tower was officially unveiled on February 6, 1928. The bells were produced by Taylor and Co. in Loughborough England, while the tower itself was designed by Mr. Roger Bacon and constructed by local contractors with Messrs Garnham and Robinson responsible for laying the foundations in 1926.
In July 1951, a referendum was held to decide a site for suitable World War II war memorial, with the outcome indicating a preference for Seymour Square. On May 25, 1953, the band rotunda was demolished to allow for construction of a coloured war memorial fountain. On December 23 1953, the Blenheim and District World War II Memorial Fountain, designed by E. Hubbard, was unveiled by the vice-president of the NZ R.S.A. Seymour Square continues to be used as a venue to commemorate ANZAC Day and other military memorial services and parades in Blenheim.
In addition to the war memorials, Seymour Square also has extensive flower beds, and is used for the annual garden fête that takes place during Garden Marlborough.
In 1996, Seymour Square featured on a 40 cent stamp issued by NZ Post commemorating scenic gardens of New Zealand.