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Town Hall
Makhanda (Grahamstown), Eastern Cape

Sydney STENT: Architect

Date:1870
Type:Town Hall
Style:Victorian
Status:Extant
Street:High Street

 


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Coordinates:
33°18'33.74" S 26°31'39.40" E

Open competition. Proclaimed: 12-05-1989. (Picton-Seymour, D. 1989. Historical Buildings in south Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof) (Contree Jul 1981) Also dated 1877?.

Text from 1894

The Town Hall is a very fine specimen of Gothic Revival architecture, finished in rubble masonry, with cast concrete dressings. It was completed in 1882, at a cost of £16,789, the foundation stone having been laid five years previously by Sir Bartle Frere. besides the Town Offices, the building contains the Library, Assembly Rooms, and a Grand Museum, which boasts the finest collection of South African fossils extant. As will be noticed from the picture, the shops of Grahamstown are large and handsome, and the wagons thronging its streets, with wool, skins, ostrich feathers and wheat, show that the importance of the town as a commercial centre, in addition to its educational and religious eminence, is in no way inconsiderable.

Ref: Photographs of South Africa comprising Representative Views etc.; The South African Photo-Publishing Company, Cape Town, 1894: pg 71.

[Submitted by William MARTINSON, January 2011]

There is a white marble Memorial Tablet mounted on the south west pier of the clock tower of the Town Hall. It commemorates the epic 1842 ride of Dick King, who covered the 960-km distance between Port Natal (now Durban) and Grahamstown on horseback in ten days, in order to request help for the besieged British garrison at Port Natal.

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.


Writings about this entry

Gledhill, Eilly, Kearney, Brian & Peters, Walter. 1975. Grahamstown : a pilot study in conservation. Durban: University of Natal. pg 55
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 123
Willcox, JS. 1889. Views of Grahamstown from photographs. Grahamstown: Unidentified. pg Inside front cover