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House at Schoenmakers Kop
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) district, Eastern Cape

JONES and McWILLIAMS: Architect
Herbert Hastings McWILLIAMS: Design Architect

Date:pre 1934
Status:Extant but altered
Street:Periwinkle Lane

1934 - Cumming-George: 89

This house is built at the edge of a grassy cliff overlooking the sea. It is of brick and concrete, with an asbestos roof which is well protected from the salt winds by parapets, as the drinking water supply is dependent upon rainfall.

The building is so arranged that only one half of it need be opened for week-end use — the whole house being used only during the school holidays. One portion contains the living-room, kitchen, etc., while the other isolated by the verandah incorporates children's and governess's quarters.

The shape of the house is contrived to protect the verandah from westerly winds, but also to allow a wide field of view from it. Owing to the fact that the sea is on the south, there are sliding glass doors to allow the sun to get to the sea side of the verandah, and vice versa to allow anyone sitting on the north side of the verandah a clear view of the sea.

The walls are rough cast with sea shells and distempered ivory. Shutters and doors are turquoise, while frames are lobster-red. The fence, made of driftwood, is temporary.

The interior is fitted like a ship, the bedrooms having bunks, and all woodwork waxed and polished to resemble cabin panelling.

Portholes and railings from the wreck of a steamer nearby are incorporated in the building, while the roof is adapted for sunbathing.


The house was built for Herbert McWilliams' aunt, Lady Walton, as a holiday house. It was called "Quarterdeck". Over the years it was extended considerable and finally sub-dived into two units.

(Gerald Humphrey - 2014)

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.