Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, 1966
Once swept along the whole hilltop from Russell Street to the Observatory but has since been curtailed and Princes Drive has taken over a large piece of it from Richardson Street southwards. There is still a Britannia Heights Domain just below the Observatory.
The name could have been chosen for several reasons—the ship Britannia saw action at St. Vincent and Trafalgar, and the name had been used by the first settlers for Wellington until Wakefield changed it. Britannia and Franklin are the only two names in the Third List which seem to have had any connection with Lord Nelson.