The architects

Photo of Benjamin Mountfort

Benjamin Mountfort

Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort
In 1850, Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort arrived from England in Canterbury aboard the Charlotte Jane passenger ship.

Becoming one of the region’s leading architects, from 1857 – 1875 he was responsible for many notable buildings including Canterbury Museum and the Canterbury Provincial Chambers.

The Gothic Revival style he had mastered in England was prevalent in his work and became the overarching style of Canterbury College.


Samuel Hurst Seager

Arts Centre architect Samuel Seager

Samuel Seager

Samuel Hurst Seager had a long association with Canterbury College.

In 1877 he was a building contractor on the site – his signature can even be seen on plans for the earliest college buildings. From 1879 – 1892 he was a student of the College and went on to study architecture at University College in London. He then returned to practise architecture in Christchurch and was activily involved in the design of the site.

From 1893 to 1903, Seager was a lecturer at the School of Art and went on to become a member of the Canterbury College Board of Governors (1910-19).

Although closely involved in the planning and development of the College’s buildings, the role of college architects fell to the architect firm Collins and Harman, with Seager as the ‘consultant architect’. The grand design, however, remains unquestionably his.