The Holland Porch is named after Herbert St Barbe Holland, 5th Bishop of Wellington from 1927-1946.
The Cathedral’s foundation stone was laid by a young Queen Elizabeth II on 13 January 1954 on her first visit to New Zealand and blessed by Archbishop Owen. Construction began the following year.
The bell tower is located above the Holland porch, and has a peal of 14 bells. Eight are from the former 180 year old St Edmund’s Church, Northampton, in the Diocese of Peterborough, England. The big tenor bell, 27 ¾ hundredweight, known as the People’s Bell, was given by many citizens enrolled as honorary bellringers. Three bells from the Cathedral were sent to the foundry of John Taylor and Company at Loughborough for recasting and retuning; the others were donated. The tower is named after James Thomas, Dean of Wellington from 1978 to 1985. His vision and enterprise made possible the acquisition of the bells and the completion of the tower.