Kingsbury

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Kingsbury
Montage-kingsbury.jpg
Top left: University College Kingsbury; top right: Parliament House; middle left: Central Park; middle centre: Inner suburban housing; middle right: Kingsbury Cathedral; bottom left: Kingsbury Palace; bottom right: Kingsbury Castle.
General information
Established 1858
Postal code CENT
Dialling code 01
Geography
County Centralia
Area 104.59 sq mi (270.9 km2)
Elevation 3,215 ft (980 m)
Demographics
Population 298,600  (Ranked 1st)
Property value £80,000
Politics
City of Kingsbury[1]
Arms-kingsbury.png
Coat of Arms of Kingsbury
Type City by Royal Charter
Incorporated 1 April 1863
Seat Kingsbury Town Hall
2 Cathedral Square
Kingsbury, CENT
Lord Mayor Gabrielle Harrison
Navigation and map
Kingsbury is located in Guelphia
Kingsbury
Kingsbury
Location of Kingsbury
List of settlements in Guelphia
List of places in Guelphia by population
Municipalities · Parishes

Kingsbury is the capital and largest city in Guelphia. As of 2010, the City of Kingsbury has a population of just under 300,000 people and a larger metropolitan area ("Greater Kingsbury") of 450,000. Kingsbury is a planned city, and was first established in 1858, following the decision to by the government to move the capital from Port Frederick in the wake of the Crimean War.

Toponomy

The name of Kingsbury is drawn from traditional Anglo-Saxon toponomy. In Old English, the word king carrierd much the same meaning as it does today, that is the male ruler of an independent state, especially one who inherits the position by right of birth[2]. At the same time, a bury was a fortified enclosure and has the same origins as the word borough[3]. Therefore, Kingsbury can be seen to mean a fortified enclosure belonging to the king.

History

Pre-history

Before the European settlement of Guelphia, The indigenous Ngati Mōri were the sole inhabitants of the territory that encompasses current day Kingsbury. Geological and archaeological evidence suggests that the Ngati Mōri were seasonal inhabitants of the Central Tablelands, spending only the high summer months there before returning to the lowlands in the autumn. The oldest finds date to the early 1590s, suggesting that the Ngati Mōri spread rapidly after first settling Guelphia in the 1540s.

With the coming of European sealers and whalers in the 1780s and 90s, Ngati Mōri society began to fragment, and the pacifist code that had been previously adopted (itself based on a similar code adopted by the Moriori people on the nearby Chatham Islands), was largely abandoned. From 1800, the first attempts were made to construct hill forts (or pā)[4] in order to defend against internal strife. One such pā was constructed on Castle Hill, but appears to have been abandoned soon afterwards. The pā itself was largely obliterated by the construction of Kingsbury Castle in 1860, and today what little evidence there was for the hill fort can be found in the archaeological investigations conducted by William Dale, the then Commissioner for Public Works and a noted antiquarian.

European settlement

From the time of the European discovery of Guelphia in 1773 to the formal settlement of the islands in 1835-36, much of the Central Tablelands remained largely unknown to the new settlers. Indeed, apart from some foresters coming inland from Corfe Harbour in search of timber, the interior of Brunswick Island remained firmly the domain of the various warring clans of the Ngati Mōri. However, by the 1830s, the effects of internecine warfare between the clans, coupled with the widespread impact of infectious diseases such smallpox and typhoid, had destroyed the internal coherence of many clans, and large portions of the island were left completely uninhabited.

It therefore came to pass that when the first Europeans travelled over the Central Tablelands in 1835, they found very little evidence of human habitation. The first member of the Guelphia Company to enter the Sandon valley was the Company Surveyor-General, Colonel James Lang, in the winter of 1835. Lang had been tasked with mapping the interior of the island in preparation for its subdivision in to farming blocks. Lang described the Sandon valley as "a fine dale... suitable for shepherds and farmsteads". He named the river after British Viscountcy of Sandon and the generally sandy disposition of the river bed. The following year, the valley came under the control of the House of Crowther, and was therefore counted as part of the Royal Estate. A sheep station was established at Duval, and took in all of the Duval, Sandon, and Ell valleys. Duval eventually grew in to a coaching station and village and was the closest settlement to the future site of Kingsbury.

With the discovery of gold at Hillsborough in 1841, widespread settlement of the district commenced. The Sandon valley was subsequently parished the following year, with a vast sheep "run" giving way to small-scale settlement. The Sandon valley was sub-divided in to a number of 100 acres (40 hectares) lots, which were offered to new settlers as tenant farms under the ownership of the Royal Estate. Although no close settlement occurred in the valley, a church, pub, and general store had been established where the Great Central Road crossed the River Sandon by 1845.

The 1851 census was the second taken in Guelphia, and included the new settlements in Centralia for the first time. In that census, the Sandon valley was recorded as having a population of just 220 souls. The peaceful and bucolic nature of the valley was to be shattered by events in Russia later in the decade, with a momentous decision taken to relocate the seat of government.

Establishment of Kingsbury

In March 1854, the British Empire declared war on Russia to prevent the conquest of the rapidly fading Ottoman Empire. The resulting "Russian scare" was a phenomenon around the British Empire where many colonial settlements suddenly felt vulnerable to Russian attack. Across the Empire, fortifications were constructed to defend ports and harbours from a marauding Russian fleet that in reality did not exist.

In Guelphia, the government felt particularly vulnerable from an enemy attack upon the capital in Port Frederick. The narrow bar of the River Maria provided a bottleneck from which an attacking fleet might be able to trap the flotilla of Guelphian ships. At the same time, the sparse and poorly defended heights along the coast to the east of the city could easily be captured and used to besiege the city on the estuary below. Despite a lengthy investment in the construction of fortifications around the city and the raising of local militia forces for the first time, the establishment continued to feel threatened, and in October 1856, Parliament voted to shift the capital "...at the earliest convenience of the government". In response, a royal commission, under the leadership of former Chief Justice Viscount Delapole, was established to find a suitable location for a new seat of government.

A survey of potential locations was swiftly undertaken by the royal commission, with twelve sites identified by the end of 1857. These included sites in existing cities, such as Philipstown and Shepton, but also included greenfield sites, including the Sandon valley. In March 1858, the final report of commission was handed down. It recommended the construction of a new city on a greenfield site to avoid the clutter of an established site, and the political interference that would inevitably come from the local leaders. The Delapole commission identified three potential sites: the Sandon valley, the Laura valley, and the village of Eboracum in southern Beaufortshire. In June 1858, Parliament selected the Sandon valley as the site of the new capital. Construction commenced under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Works in September 1858. The name of Kingsbury was selected by Alexander II as being a name worthy of capital, as well as being a sound historical and etymological choice as well (see toponomy above).

Construction

On the 18 September 1858, the construction of the Kingsbury commenced, with the foundation stone laid by Alexander II in what is now King's Square. The day is still celebrated in Kingsbury, and is a local public holiday in the East Riding of Centralia. The plans for the city were designed by Louis Hewitt and Phineas Granger, two minor 19th-century American architects. Under their careful scrutiny, the city rapidly took shape over the next decade. Convict labour proved invaluable in laying down the streets and sewers, with the more skilled convicts selected to work as labourers in the construction of houses and public buildings. Skilled craftsmen were imported from Europe to construct the finer points of the public buildings, including stonemasons, plasterers, carpenters, and artists for the many paintings and murals. In all, there more than 5,000 people working on the construction of the city at any given time. Fatalities proved to be reasonably uncommon for the time, with just 202 deaths recorded in the decade between 1858 and 1868[5].

Whilst the state paid for the construction of the most important public buildings, including Parliament House and Kingsbury Palace, public subscription campaigns were held to fund the construction of other buildings such as the various national institutions and museums, Kingsbury Cathedral, and the nascent Kingsbury College (now University College Kingsbury). By early 1868, the major public buildings were complete, and there were enough houses built to facilitate the transfer of the government from Port Frederick. By the end of the year, all the the Royal Family, parliament, the government departments, and the judiciary had moved to their new accommodation and the city began to function as the national capital. The 1871 census was the first taken after the official inauguration of Kingsbury. The census recorded a population of 24,500 people within the municipality, up from 5,500 recorded during the construction of the city in 1861.

Expansion

Over the next two decades, the city constituted to grow and consolidate around the original construction area. A commercial core developed around the market buildings constructed around Railway Square, which culminated with the arrival of the railway in 1883. Many of the parks and squares had not been constructed in the original building phase, and it was left to city leaders to fund their design and construction in the decades afterwards. Central Park was opened in 1888, with the Sandon Parklands following in 1890.

Geography

Kingsbury
Climate chart
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
3.6
 
79
56
 
 
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77
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2.2
 
73
52
 
 
1.5
 
68
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1.7
 
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40
 
 
1.8
 
55
36
 
 
1.8
 
54
34
 
 
1.7
 
57
35
 
 
2.3
 
64
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3
 
68
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4.3
 
72
50
 
 
3.9
 
76
53
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Kingsbury is situated on Brunswick Island (42°44'32.67"S 161°49'14.53"W), and lies on the Central Tablelands to the north of the Main Range. The city was established on the southern banks of River Sandon, and lies several miles upstream from it's junction with the River Duval. It has an elevation of approximately 3,215 feet (980 metres); the highest point is Mount Trevellie at 3,763 feet (1,147 metres). Other large hills include Mitchell's Hill 3,759 feet (1,146 metres), Flagstaff Hill 3,740 feet (1,140 metres), and Apple Tree Hill 3,460 feet (1,050 metres). To the north-east are heavily forested steep granite gorges that drop precipitously down to the northern coastal plain. To the south stand the jagged peaks of the Main Range, which reaches elevations in excess of 6,900 feet (2,100 metres) within an hour's drive of the General Post Office.

Kingsbury is the most populous city in Guelphia in terms of population, with almost 300,000 people as of 2010. The city is divided into four sub-units known as deaneries. Deaneries used for both civil and ecclesiastical purposes, although their civil usage is largely restricted to being used for drawing administrative and electoral boundaries. The deaneries are turn divided in to wards and suburbs; the latter of which are almost invariably the same as the parishes. The urban area of Kingsbury is bound into an area roughly outlined by the River Duval to the north, and the River Ell to the east and south, and the Duval Ridge to the west.

Climate

Kingsbury's elevation of 3,215 feet (980 metres) gives it a mild climate, with pleasant warm summers, extended spring and autumn seasons, and a short cold winter. The presence of four distinct seasons, unlike most of the coastal areas, is the reason why the district has always been attractive to European settlers. January is generally the warmest month, with top temperatures averaging 79 °F (26 °C), whilst in July the average high is just 54 °F (12 °C).

Rainfall in the city is spread throughout the year, with summers being somewhat wetter than other seasons of the year. In total, the city averages 31 45 inches (810 millimetres) of rain per annum. November is the wettest month, with 4 310 inches (110 millimetres), whilst April sees just 1 12 inches (38 millimetres) of rain fall.

Urban structure

Kingsbury is a planned city, having been designed by the American architects Hewitt and Granger, in a competition in the late 1850s.

The urban areas of Kingsbury are organised into a hierarchy of deaneries, wards, local suburbs, as well as other industrial areas and stand-alone villages. There are four deaneries, each of which is divided into wards, which are in turn divided into suburbs. Each of the deaneries has it's own town centre, which is the focus of commercial and social activities. The deaneries were settled in the following chronological order:

Governance

County council

Kingsbury forms part of the county of Centralia, of which the city is the seat of the county council. From 1886, Kingsbury was the seat of county-level East Riding of Centralia, until it was reabsorbed in to Centralia in 1907. The modern county council is composed eighteen aldermen (elected from nine wards), of which eight are from the National Party, six from the Democratic Party, two from the Social Democratic Labour Party, as well as a single independent. The Chairman of the County Council, Mackenzie Smith, was elected at the 2008 elections and is a member of the National Party.

Counties are responsible for most matters that require a solution on a regional level, and may make by-laws for certain matters delegated to them by the Government of Guelphia. Matters devolved to the counties include civil defence, garbage disposal, policing, social security, public transport, and water supply.

Municipal governance

A large portion of the Kingsbury metropolitan area is controlled by a single municipal authority, the City of Kingsbury. The municipality was established in March 1868, and was elevated to city status by Royal Charter the following November. The city council consists of 25 members, elected from 5 multi-member constituencies that are coterminous with the deaneries.

Demographics

As at census night in August 2010[7], the population of Kingsbury was 298,600. Approximately 5½% of households speak a language other than English, with the most common being the indigenous Ngati Mōri language. The median age across the city is 36 years old.

Economy

As the largest city and national capital, Kingsbury is the major political, economic, and cultural centre of Guelphia. Even though it is home to only 9% of Guelphia population, it generates approximately 35% of the national GDP.

Transportation

The motor car remains the dominant form of transport in Kingsbury. The planned nature of the city allowed for grand avenues to be constructed when the city was laid down in the nineteenth century, alleviated the need for destructive freeway projects as the city grew after the Second World War. Access to the city from the outer suburbs is by limited access dual carriageway roads known as parkways, with speed limits generally set at a maximum of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). Kingsbury is connected to the national road network by the the A2, A3, A5 and A7, which converge near the centre of the city.

Kingsbury has a well-developed public transportation system. The city is the terminus of all but two intercity rail services, and has it's own suburban rail service, known as the TransCapital Commuter, which along with the TransCapital Buses, forms the core public transport network across the city. Over 50 trains, 500 buses transport about 100,000 passengers every workday across a network that stretches from Langford and Woolbrook in the east to Shepton in the west. The cost of a single-ride adult ticket start at half a crown (2⁄6 - USD 2.55). Students, the elderly, and the disabled receive large discounts (up to 80%) on the tickets.

Arts and entertainment

Kingsbury is easily the most culturally active of any city in Guelphia, and shares this distinction with the neighbouring cities and towns. A variety of cultural pursuits can be found from dramatic theatre to sport, which reflects the size and role of Kingsbury as the capital and cultural compass of Guelphia. The most prominent manifestations of this scene is the Kingsbury Festival held every February and the Kingsbury Music Festival held in September.

As the capital, there are a number of political institutions that serve as attractions for visitors. Aside from Parliament, many of the ministries have exhibits and museums that show the work each department does, as well as a showcase for the contributions made by Guelphians in the various fields of medicine, education, industry and science. The most popular tourist venues in Kingsbury are Parliament House, Kingsbury Cathedral and the various national museums of art, history, natural history, science, and entertainment.

Media

Kingsbury is the home to all of Guelphia's television and radio networks. From Kingsbury, the broadcasts of these networks are syndicated across the country.

Television

Three free-to-air television networks service Kingsbury:

  • Radio Television Guelphia (RTG)
  • Independent Television Network (ITN)
  • Tasman Broadcasting Network (TBN)

Each station broadcasts a primary channel and several multichannels.

Radio

Print

Sport

The city is also home to a large number of national sporting teams.

International relations

Kingsbury is twinned with:

References and notes

  1. By Letters Patent issued by the King on 2 November 1868, Kingsbury is entitled to the status and privilege of the title of city.
  2. Stevenson, Angus, ed. (2010). Oxford Dictionary of English (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199571123.
  3. Mills, Anthony David (2003). Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198527586.
  4. "Māori Dictionary Online". http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  5. It is worth noting that this is the total number of deaths recorded between 1858 and 1868, and includes non-construction related fatalities including disease, violence, and "old age". There is no surviving record of construction related deaths in Kingsbury.
  6. The original settlement of Gainsborough took place in 1844, but the area was not urbanised until the 1960s.
  7. Guelphian Census of Population and Housing, 2010. Volume I. Kingsbury: Guelphian Statistics Agency. 2010. p. 4.

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