|As seen from Bluff Hill|
|This fountain was donated in 1904 in memory of a strong promoter of the development of Clive Square.|
|This harp is a carillon and was a gift from Rothmans Ltd to mark the 1974 centenary of the Borough of Napier. It plays a selection of tunes every half hour between 11.30 am and 2 pm.|
As early as Napier city was being planned out (1854) this square was a part of it. The idea was that would remind the English of village greens back in the motherland.
By 1884 it become the city's main sporting centre in fact Napier's first cricket and football matches were played here. Council and a group of private fund raisers began to improve the appearance of the square by planting trees and gardens, enclosing it with white picket fences and creating gates at the corner entrances. There was a rotunda and seating facing it. They also provided gas lamps and improved drainage (which had been a problem for years). See this link for what it looked like then. Clive Square is actually one of two squares (which in the beginning were one) they were separated and Clive Square as a garden reserve was officially opened in 1886.
In preparation for the 1920 visit of the Prince of Wales, Edward VIII additional palms, trees and sub-tropical shrubs were added.
Straight after the 1931 earthquake dressing stations were set up by the Red Cross in Clive Square as well as other places around Napier. Likewise here and other places in Napier food was distributed by the Salvation Army. Within 4 weeks the government gave a loan and Tin Town was created. Tin Town were a set of temporary shops and banks (32 here) that were made of wooden frames with corrugated iron roofs. They allowed retail to continue as much of Napier CBD was rebuilt. They were used for the next 2 years.
In 1933 the square was remodelled. The palm tress (which had had to be removed for Tin Town) were replanted. Instead of the rotunda a gold fish pond was built in its place.