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Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape

Louis Michel THIBAULT: Architect
MUNNIK VISSER BLACK FISH and PARTNERS: Architect restoration 1970s

Date:1804-1805 : c1970


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32°15'07.47" S 24°32'08.41" E Alt: 755m

The Old Drostdy in Graaff-Reinet has undergone many changes since construction began in 1804. Designed by Louis Thibault the building was completed in 1806 and serving as an official building it provided accommodation for inter alia such luminaries as Lord Charles Somerset and Sir Rufane Donkin. From 1819 the Old Drostdy was used as a residency for the local magistrate until 1847 when the building together with the surrounding land was sold by public auction to J.F. Ziervogel. After having been sub-divided and changed hands a number of times the building was bought by Henry Kromm in 1878 and converted into a hotel which became known as Kromm’s Drostdy Hotel.

Shortly after 1900 it was altered extensively into a double story building with a Victorian façade. After Kromm sold it in 1903 it continued as a hotel under various owners until its acquisition in 1975 by Historical Homes of South Africa when the building was restored and with the adjacent Stretch’s Court converted into an upmarket hotel.

(Graaff-Reinet Tourism, History of the Drostdy Hotel, accessed 2021 01 15)

See also Inside one of South Africa's Most Prestigious Heritage Hotels by James Ball, The Heritage Portal, October 21, 2015.

Writings about this entry

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 563,565 ill, 566
Gaylard, Shaun & McDougall, Brett . 2022. RSA 365 : 365 Drawings of South African Architecture. Johannesburg: Blank Ink Design. pg 30 ill
Hartdegen, Paddy. 1988. Our building heritage : an illustrated history. South Africa: Ryll's Pub. Co. on behalf of the National Development Fund for the Building Industry. pg 52
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 89-90
Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1971. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 4 Dev-For. Cape Town: Nasou. pg 89
Richardson, Deirdré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 18