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Metropolitan Methodist Church
Central, Cape Town, Western Cape

Charles AS FREEMAN: Architect

Date:1876
Type:Methodist Church
Status:Extant


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33°55'22.26" S 18°25'10.75" E
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The second-oldest remaining building facing Greenmarket Square is the Wesleyan or Methodist Church of which the foundation stone was laid in 1876. The architect of what was long considered the finest church in the Colony was Charles Freeman. He produced a masterpiece of high-Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, adhering closely to his source of inspiration. It is a basilica type of church, with the lean-to roof of the aisles broken by a series of gabled transverse roofs. A tower with a tall spire stands on the corner, beside the nave at the head of the aisle. The building has fine dressed shale walls, its plinth in granite, and an interior of great beauty with its high timbered roof and a gallery supported by cast-iron columns. Its Gothic Revival sculptured stonework is equalled only by that of the Oudtshoorn DR Church.

[Fransen 2004:41.]

The building on the left in the old black and white photograph, above left, is the Old Town House.

(SAB Dec 1932:11; SALQB Dec 1967:58)

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


Writings about this entry

Cole, DI. 2002. The building stones of Cape Town : a geological walking tour. Cape Town: Council for Geoscience. pg 61-64
Duncan, Paul & Proust, Alain. 2013. Hidden Cape Town. Cape Town: Random House Struik. pg 226-231
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. pg 41
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 99
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pg 52, 53, 90, 149
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 20
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 Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis.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. pg 115
Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pg 144 item 56.11
Shorten, John R. 1963. Cape Town : A record of the Mother City from the earliest days to the present. Cape Town: JR Shorten in association with Shorten and Smith Publications. pg 193 ill.
Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pg 20-21