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Drostdy Barracks and Lodge
Makhanda (Grahamstown), Eastern Cape

Pieter RETIEF: Contractor
ROYAL ENGINEERS: Architect
Date:1822 : 1828
Type:Drostdy
Style:Georgian
Status:Extant

A Drostdy was established in Grahamstown in 1812, but with there being a dearth of local skilled labour the project was aborted. In 1822 it was again resumed with the appointment of Piet Retief as contractor. He however went bankrupt in the process, the building only to be completed six year later.

In 1830 it housed the judges of the circuit. During the tenure of the Governor Sir Lowry Cole it was, at his insistence, returned to its intended purpose. The Sixth Border War made its-re-occupation impossible and it was instead turned to military purposes as defenses against the Xhosa, being converted by the Military Engineers into barracks for 100 men.

In 1873 it became the Grahamstown Public School, its use until 1886. During the South African (Anglo-Boer) War (1899-1902) it was again appropriated for military use and additional buildings erected.

With the establishment of the Rhodes University College it was made available to the newly formed institution and still serves the campus today.


Writings about this entry

Alberts, Paul. 1992. South African military buildings photographed : an historical heritage. Cape Town: The Gallery Press. pg 70, 71 ill