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GALPIN, Henry Carter

Born: 1820 06 16
Died: 1886 02 13


Galpin arrived in South Africa (Cape) in 1848. He was born in Charmouth, Dorset, England and had trained in England as an architect and civil engineer and a clockmaker. He won the competition to design the hothouse in the Cape Town Gardens. The prize was £100. By 1849 he was living in Grahamstown, retiring prematurely from practice as a surveyor for health reasons. He was instrumental in identifying the first diamond as such in South Africa. He worked thereafter as a clockmaker and built himself a house in Grahamstown which has become a landmark, including as it did an observatory and a camera obscura. The latter is still working, after careful restoration. The house, previously known as the Tower House, is now the Observatory Museum. Only one of the towers still exists. Galpin died in Grahamstown.

(Historia Dec 1961, article by R Snyman; SESA 5:107)

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Company Gardens, Hothouse: c1848. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House Galpin: Tower house, (now the Observatory Museum): 1850 : 1982. Makhanda (Grahamstown), Eastern Cape - Architect

Books citing GALPIN

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 23, 203-204

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 113

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1972. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 5 For-Hun. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 107-108

S2A3 (Plug, C - Project Leader and main compiler). 2002-. S2A3 biographical database of southern African science. Webspace: WWW. pp Accessed 12 January 2016