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WALLIS, George

Born: 1824 11 28
Died: 1908 06 05

Architect


A mason by trade, Wallis worked mainly as a builder and as an overseer, but was responsible for the design of several buildings at the Cape where he was active between 1848 and 1900. Wallis was born at Bushey, Herts, England and arrived in the Cape in 1848. He was first employed by M BUTLER, a builder, before leaving in 1854 to prospect for copper in Namaqualand (Northern Cape), but had returned to Cape Town by 1856 and was employed by the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in Cape Town. He tendered unsuccessfully for the Congregational Church in Caledon Square in 1856, but as ROBB & WALLIS built the churchyard wall and porch of Holy Trinity church, Caledon. From 1858 until 1859 he acted as clerk of works on the new South African library and museum building in Cape Town.

By 1859 Wallis was living at George. He supervised the erection of gaols at Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, George and Prince Alfred, and 1862 he had returned to live in Claremont, again acting as clerk of works for the South African library and museum building which had formally been opened in 1860 but was only completed in 1864. He undertook further work at St Saviour's Church in 1865 and was clerk of works on the Dutch Reformed Church building at Cradock, designed by WELCHMAN & READ, which was completed 1868. He rejoined the PWD in 1871 and supervised gaol buildings at Swellendam and Beaufort West in 1872. He settled in Oudtshoorn in 1871, having apparently provided the original plans for the Dutch Reformed Church in Oudtshoorn, a building which Radford (1979:191) describes as 'the most ambitious piece of church building undertaken in the Western Cape in the late 1850's ... a little too ambitious. It was started in 1857 and finished in 1879, thus taking 22 years to complete.' Radford points out that while Wallis supplied the plans it is probable that these were by W KÖHLER. The completion of the building was taken over by O HAGER in 1877. Wallis continued to supervise, design and build many buildings in the Cape. He died in Oudtshoorn and was buried at St Saviour's Church in Claremont, Cape Town.

(Die Ruiter 19 Mar 1948:27)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Articles citing WALLIS

Unknown. 1982. . Restorica: Journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation No 11, July

Ferreira, Naas. 1983. J.E. Vixseboxse 1836 - 1943. Restorica: Journal of the Simon van der Stel Foundation No 13, April

Books citing WALLIS

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 141, 505, 506, 507, 511, 590

HSRC. 1987. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume V. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 865

Kesting, DP. 1978. Afrikaans Protestantse kerkbou : erfenis en uitdaging. Port Elizabeth: Unpublished PhD. pp

Langham-Carter, RR. 1979. Nineteenth century architects etc. in the Western Cape. Cape Town: Unpublished MS, UCT Library. pp

Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838 1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pp 136

Chapters in books citing WALLIS

Radford, Dennis JC. Wallis, George: in 1987. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume V: pp 865