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Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Edward Henry WAUGH: Architect



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26°11'46.08" S 28°01'39.36" E Alt: 1736m

Was built in 1931-32 and opened in 1932 at a cost of £9 000 (R18 000). The design of the crematorium almost disguises its purpose. It is in the shape of what van der Waal calls a 'neo-Romanesque' chapel built of cut Witwatersrand koppie stone. It resembles a church with neat small single, double and triple arches, a hip tiled roof and most imposing of all is a substantial square rather heavy tower, which, on closer inspection is not a bell-tower but rather a chimney for the cremation furnaces. In an undated (probably 1930s) pamphlet it is described as 'a chapel, chancel, organ chamber and spacious porch-way built of local stone in the Byzantine style', but adds that 'all appliances for modern cremation have been installed'. The idea of a memorial wall was introduced in 1934. There is an associated columbarium at the Braamfontein cemetery. In 2011 four new furnaces were installed giving the 'chapel' a more industrial look.

Entry created from Munro, see The Heritage Portal: 'The Johannesburg way of death'.