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The Gothic stone buildings of Christ's College, New Zealand's oldest school, reflect Christchurch's strong early-settler links with England. First planned in 1850, this prestigious independent school has all the hallmarks of a traditional English public school. Inside the school grounds, visitors can see the striking architectural features of the dining hall, the chapel, the hospital tower and the "big school", where pupils were taught in the early days. The 620 boys, many of them boarders, who attend the school wear distinctive black and white striped uniforms. With the Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park as its backyard, stately Christ's College is just a short walk from the Square.