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Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk
Colesberg, Northern Cape

WELCHMAN and READ: Architect
Wouter De Wet (Wollie) BRONKHORST: Architect 1959

Date:1861-1866 : 1959
Type:Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Church


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30°43'23.04" S 25°05'43.88" E Alt: 1383m

The congregation was founded on 10 December 1826 by Rev. Andrew Murray of the NG congregation Graaff-Reinet founded under the name "the congregation of Torenberg", following the round hill on the west side of the mountain.

There is uncertainty as to whether this was indeed the correct designation. The original name was quite possibly "the congregation of de Toverberg", because firstly the San had a kraal here and were used to obtaining their magic goods from the hill and secondly there is the "Acta" of the Cape Synod's session of 1829 which declares: "From the Magic Mountain, no one appeared." Most likely, Fr. Murray confused the expression "Toorberg", as already used colloquially at the time, with "Torenberg" and officially gave this incorrect name to the parish.

Nevertheless, the congregation only carried its original name for three years, because in 1830 the then governor, Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, thanks to the intervention of Sir Andries Stockenström, donated about 15,500 hectares to the NG church. In honor of the governor, the parish, town and district have since been called Colesberg. The church divided the land into lots and used the proceeds from its sale to erect its building in the center of the town.

(Posted on Artefacts FB page courtesy of Forgotten in Africa)

The competition to design the church was won by George William SMITH but it was not built to his design. (De Waal 1978: 142-43). It was designed by WELCHMAN & READ. A high domed clock tower and a columned portico was added in 1959 by W BRONKHORST.

Books that reference Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk

De Waal, Lydia M. 1978. Europees Historiese vormaalelemente in die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerkargitektuur van die Groot Karoo. Bloemfontein: UOVS, MA Fakulteit van lettere en Wysbegeerte, Dept Kuns en Beeld. Kunste. pg 142-143
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 558
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 103
Hoevers, Jan. 2005. Van Kerke en Dorpe. Historiese vertellinge oor die oudste kerke en dorpe in Suid-Afrika. Centurion: Publiself Uitgewers. pg 24
Hoevers, Jan. 2012. Geskiedkundige kerke : 'n Gids tot 50 tradisionele kerke. Pretoria: Kontak-uitgewers. pg 25-26
Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2010. 101 Country Churches of South Africa. South Africa: Booktown Richmond Press. pg 63
Richardson, Deirdré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 49