Gladstone Hotel

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Gladstone Tavern, Durham Arms Hotel, DB Gladstone, The Christchurch Club, The Devonshire Arms, The Glad

Location: 328 Durham Street, Central Christchurch

Current Status: Demolished in 2005, replaced by commercial buildings

Active as a live music venue: 1971 – 1990

Bar Manager: –

Capacity: –

The DB Gladstone at its peak in the 1980s. Photo by Darryl McKenzie

The Gladstone has the doubtful distinction of being the last hotel in Christchurch to host a post mortem. The examination was carried out in July of 1901 by a Dr. William Diamond, who told the coroner that there was extreme difficulty working in such cramped and unsuitable quarters as those provided by a hotel and he sincerely hoped that something would be done about it soon. His wish was granted, for on that very day the eminent architect Mr. S Hurst-Seager, designer of the new morgue, had handed the keys to the completed building to the City Council.

– Stephen Symons’ ‘The Watering Holes’

The Durham Arms prior to demolition (Photo from Fairfax article on lost venues)


  • 1856: First Meeting of the Christchurch Club in the original building on the corner of Durham and Peterborough Streets’, Owned by George Woodman. The 1st Liquor in Christchurch is acquired a couple months later.
  • 1862: The Christchurch Club moves to Latimer Square, the original building becomes the Devonshire Arms
  • 1875: Christchurch Hotels are forced to accept cadavers prior to burial.
  • 1876: Original building is replaced with a new larger, 2-Story Hotel under John Barrett’s ownership and christened the Gladstone Hotel.
  • 1901: Christchurch’s last autopsy performed at a public house is done at the Gladstone, just days before the City morgue is opened.
  • 1970: The Gladstone is purchased by DB Breweries.
  • 1971: Under Gary Lings’ proprietorship the Gladstone becomes a popular live music venue.
  • 1985: A proposed development on the site fails to eventuated when funding falls through, accommodation is closed and the Hotel becomes Gladstone Tavern.
  • 1990: Renamed the Durham Arms.



Christchurch Venue Map

Note: This is a work in progress and will have additional content added both in the Map (i.e. venue images) or in the body of this post (i.e. a list of the venues in questioned, grouped by status etc).

Feel free to comment, give suggestions etc – this was put together as part of thebigcity’s on-going Venues archive.

e artists

The Exponents

jordan luck’s insistent pub band – born out of the south island port town of timaru and forged through beer and indulgence, there was never ever an exponents song that couldn’t be sung in a drunken haze with a million other plebs while drooling over the rugby. needless to say, i hate the fuckin’ band, and everything else that luck has ever touched. they toured for years and went through a huge range of members, including: david gent, brian jones, steve cowan, martin morris, michael harralambi, chris sheehan, mike seymour and (of all people) eddie rayner. they broke up in the mid 80s, but reformed without the ‘dance’ at the front of their name in the early 90s, and their recordings got even more stale and self-celebratory.
picks in bold

  • prayers be answered [1983 mushroom SMX61130]
  • live at mainstreet [1983 w/ the legionnaires mushroom L38017]
  • expectations [1985 mushroom ISMX65427]
  • amplifier [1986 zulu ZPL001]
  • the exponents [1992 mercury]
  • erotic ep [1992 mercury 864 775-2]
  • something beginning with c [1992 polygram]
  • grassy knoll [1994 phonogram 522913-2]
  • like she said ep [1994 polygram]
  • once bitten, twice bitten [1995 warner 0630 12558 / 2]

awards etc
rianz awards 1982

  • most promising group of the year – dance exponentsrn

rianz awards 1984

  • album of the year prayers be answeredrn
  • top male vocalist of the year jordan luckrn

rianz awards 1991

  • single of the year why does love do this to me?rn
  • top male vocalist of the year jordan luckrn

rianz awards 1996

  • top group of the year the exponentsrn