Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

St Andrew's College Memorial Chapel
Makhanda (Grahamstown), Eastern Cape

BAKER and KENDALL: Architect



Click to view map

33°18'26.88" S 26°31'06.78" E

This was also claimed to be by BAKER & FLEMING (Fleming 1985). (Greig 1970:212, 214, 246-7) (Hartdegen, P. 1988. Our Building Heritage. Ryll's Publishing Company)

St. Andrew's College, established in 1878 and one of South Africa's finest private schools, was begun with a double-storey, stone, domesticated Early English building which is still in use. Subsequent buildings were continued in that theme.

In 1905, a Grahamstown architect, W. WHITE-COOPER prepared drawings for a chapel in a red brick, neo-Gothic fashion. A foundation stone was laid but, owing to lack of money, the work had not proceeded. In 1912, Herbert BAKER persuaded the principal of the school that the red brick design was unsuitable for the South African light and climate [see St John's at 24 Rivers for Baker's sentiments on church design]. As a result of his intervention, his firm in Cape Town was instructed to prepare new plans for a stone chapel in the Romanesque style. Under the supervision of his partner, F. D. KENDALL, the chapel was built of Grahamstown stone, a first-rate, fine-grained, hard blue quartzite which suited itself admirably to BAKER's idea of church architecture suitable for South Africa. The plan follows the "Kentish School", a cruciform pattern, and consists of a high aisle with an open timber roof, lower naves of six bays and a projecting transept on either side of the choir. The apse and the choir are vaulted in concrete and all the roofs are covered with Broseley tiles of South African manufacture. On the west a gable is elongated into a bell-gable supported by heavy buttresses deep enough to enclose a baptistry. The splayed apse is also buttressed.

The height of the chapel was reduced during the course of the work for the sake of economy but the exterior is very good. The well-kept garden setting makes it possible to walk round the chapel and appreciate its strong sculptural quality.

[Grieg, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. p. 125.]

A transcribed extract from the St. Andrew's College Magazine of 1913 provides a contemporary description of the laying of the Corner Stone:

Laying of the Corner Stone of the Memorial Chapel

Greater interest than usual was centred in the Annual Prize-giving at S. Andrew's College yesterday, because the proceedings of the day included the ceremony of the Laying of the Corner Stone of the New Memorial Chapel.

The scheme of building a Memorial Chapel to Old Andreans who had fallen fighting for their country took definite shape at the jubilee of the College in 1905, when a foundation stone was laid for the proposed building. The work, however, was unavoidably delayed, and no development occurred until 1912 when it was decided to make a definite start, although only £4,000 of the required sum had been collected. As the plans for the Chapel are entirely new it was felt that a new stone had to be laid. Sir Lewis Michell kindly undertook the task and no more fortunate selection could have been made, for Sir Lewis is the father of Old Andreans, is the only Rhodes Trustee resident in South Africa, and has always taken a very active personal interest in all that has to do with the College.

The original Chapel (the foundation stone of which was laid in 1855) was designed by Mrs. Armstrong, and is now the dining-room of Upper House. The present Chapel was built in 1877, and opened at Easter in that year.


The design for the new chapel is in the early Gothic manner, but in order to suit the comparatively sunny climate of the Eastern Province, there is just that suggestion of Italian treatment which prevents it from being a direct copy of an English type. The form is that of a central nave of six bays, spanned by an open timber roof with massive beams, king posts and struts, the prototypes of which form such an attractive feature in so many old English churches. There are two narrow side aisles to serve as passages, each having space for one row of additional seats in case of emergency.

The chancel has an apsidal east end, and is to be covered by a groined roof constructed in concrete, the sanctuary windows being kept high in such a way as to cut into the semi-circular line of the vault in a effective manner.

Instead of transepts, the plan provides a projecting vestry on the north side, so as to preserve the cruciform plan, while the side aisles at the west are terminated against small projecting porches.

At the west end the baptistery is placed projecting westward of the wall, and forming a semi-circular recess, which is to be covered with a groined ceiling. Springing from the projecting baptistery are buttresses which are carried up with diminishing outline and form a picturesque bell cote to terminate the west end of the roof.

As far as possible local material is being used. The walls throughout are being built in Grahamstown stone with a rough face, both inside and out. This stone demands a simple treatment for the dressings – so that most of the windows are plain – but those around the apse include some effective tracery.

No attempt is being made at any elaborate decoration at the present stage, although when the necessary funds are available it will of course be possible to develop the decorative scheme to a much greater extent.

A few presentation windows have already been promised, and the architects are taking pains to secure the services of the very best artists of the day to provide windows that will in all respects be a credit to the building.

The roof is to be covered with tiles made in the Province on the Brosely pattern, and laid to a steep pitch. The aisles are to be paved with red tiles, while the floor of the chancel will probably be paved in somewhat the same manner, or possibly with marble, and the floor under the seats will, of course, be boarded in the ordinary manner.

The nave is about 70ft. (21.34m) by 20ft. (6.1m) irrespective of the side aisles; the chancel and sanctuary 37ft. (11.28m) by 20ft. (6.1m); from the floor of nave to ridge of roof about 35ft (10.67m).

The total accommodation will be for 330, of which number about 30 may be seated in the choir. Contrary to the custom of college chapels, the seats are all arranged facing the east instead of being placed down the two sides, facing one another. At present it is proposed to use the seats and choir stalls from the old chapel, though it is hoped that a little later it will be possible to replace them with seats of a more attractive character.

Messrs. Herbert Baker & Kendall are the architects.

The windows referred to above comprise, first, a west window of three lights given by Mrs. T. White, of Table Farm, and her family, in memory of Castell White, who died of wounds after Elandslaagte. It is designed by Mr. Whall, of Ravenscourt Park, London. Secondly, a sum of money has been given by Sir John Graham, the Judge President and Miss Eileen Graham for a window or windows in memory of three of their family who were once at S. Andrew's.

The contractors are Messrs. Carr & Co., Paarl.


Frank Hillier.
Reginald Lawrance Graham.
Castell Damant Bowker White.
William Herbert Montague Greathead.
Guy Armstrong Holland.
Edward Whitnall Dampier.
Louis Alexander Maasdorp.
Ewan Christian.
Frederick Charles Freislich.
P. P. Williams.
Bertram Eric Webb.
Guy Vivian Grice.
Castell Guybon Atherstone.
Edwin Ogilvie Atherstone.
George Drennan.
Horatio William Joseph Hutchons.
Walter Harding Brink.
Herman James Jansen.
Clifford Arthur Turpin.
Frederick Charles Roberts.
James William Maasdorp.
Henry Janion.
Henry Maynard Roberts.
John Pickering.


The Principal was "At Home" in the afternoon to a large number of guests, and the weather being superb a most enjoyable hour was spent at the "Grange" the lawn presenting quite a gay appearance.


Shortly before five o'clock the majority of the guests adjourned to the site of the new Chapel, in the erection of which considerable progress has been made, and where a large number of friends of the college and the public had already assembled to witness the interesting ceremony of the Laying of the Corner Stone by Sir Lewis Michell, c.v.o.

At the north end of the building platforms had been arranged and the corner stone which bore the inscription "This stone was laid by the Hon. Sir Lewis Michell, c.v.o, 8th Sept, 1913," hung in readiness. On the main platform there were present the Principal and Staff of the College, Hon. Sir Lewis Michell, Hon. H. L Currey, Hon. Mr. Justice Hutton, Messrs, F. G. C. Graham, A. S. Hutton, L. L. Giddy, the Mayor (T. B. van der Riet), L. M. Harison, c.c. and R.M., D. A. Long, D. L. Clarke, A. Carr, the contractor, and A. Preston, clerk of works, these gentlemen being surrounded by the members of the College choir. The clergy present were the Lord Bishop, the Dean, Canons West, Wyche and Hext, Revs. C. H. L. Packman, R. G. Mullins, C. Gould, J. Bazley, W. J. Helmore Banks, L. M. Morran and W. Y. Stead.

The College boys were accommodated on surrounding platforms. The proceedings opened by the singing of the hymn "We love the place, O God, wherein Thine honour dwells," which was followed by Psalms cxxii and lxxxiv, after which Sir Lewis laid the corner stone, saying: "In the faith of Jesus Christ we place this stone in the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." The Bishop added "Here let true faith, the fear of God, and brotherly love ever abide; and let this place be consecrated to prayer and to the praise of the most Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who ever liveth with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever, world without end. Amen."


The Bishop, in the name of the Council, and on behalf of the Old Andreans, welcomed Sir Lewis Michell, remarking they were very pleased to have with them a gentleman who had such a distinguished career and who had devoted to the best of his ability his life service for the benefit of the country. The occasion was worthy of the trouble he had taken. The College Chapel was a building full of the most sacred associations, and there the boys learned the lessons that helped them in after life to be true and loyal citizens. In it would be centered their most happy memories of days gone by. He asked them to refer to the list of the fallen, some twenty-eight names of some of the best that South Africa could produce. Their fathers had devoted themselves to the interests of the country and some of them had fallen, and their sons had followed their example. The Bishop said the present generation should be ready at the call of duty, should the time ever come, to defend their country against a foe, and he hoped that the Chapel would bind both the English and Dutch races together and that there would be no chance of such a calamity in the future.


Sir Lewis Michell said it was with the sincerest pleasure that he found himself there that day to perform such a ceremony, or to do anything for the Diocese of Grahamstown. His Lordship the Bishop had referred to the first Bishop of this Diocese – Bishop Armstrong. Sir Lewis said he had never been privileged to see him, but, when he came to this country nearly fifty years ago, he bought a letter from Mrs. Armstrong, his widow. It was forty-nine years since he first stood there on that spot which a letter of introduction to one whose loss was not only deeply deplored here, but far and wide – the late Canon Mullins. Therefore his connection with the Diocese was not a new one. He had taken part in its Synods, and, as time went on, he remembered many happy years that he spent in this Diocese. Grahamstown was already a great educational centre, and it was profitable to remember what a stream of students had left the walls of S. Andrew's College during the last half century, and what useful lives they had led. S. Andrew's boys were affectionately remembered all over South Africa, and even beyond the Zambesi into the Congo Free State. Such an influence for good it was almost impossible to over estimate. When he first saw S. Andrew's College, it was a child of nine years, and a rather ill-nourished child at that. Now it had long since passed its jubilee, and was not only going strong but stronger than ever. He was quite sure that the training and discipline of so many students over that long period of time had not been in vain. The education that was received in the playground, as well as in the school, was a great thing, but there was a greater, and that was the education which they had received within the walls of the chapel. Sir Lewis said he was quite sure that many of them had learned deeper lessons there, which they would remember during the rest of their lives. There was a great deal that the youth of this country had to do. They all knew that the native question was one of their greatest problems, and one which have to be tackled by the younger generation. He need only express the hope that when the time arrived to take up that great problem they would be wise, just and firm. These were lessons which they learned at S. Andrew's College. It was not their diamonds, nor their gold that would make them a nation, but their character. He would conclude with the words, "May S. Andrew's ever flourish!"

The ceremony concluded with the Bishop's blessing.

Scan of original document provided by Penny Tyson, Archivist, St Andrew's College, Grahamstown.

Ref: S. Andrew's College Magazine. No 3, Vol XXXV, 1913. St Andrew's College, Grahamstown: pp 103 – 109.

Submitted by William MARTINSON

A transcribed extract from the St. Andrew's College Magazine of 1914 provides a contemporary description of the Consecration of the Memorial Chapel:

The New Chapel

The Memorial Chapel, erected to the memory of Old Andreans who died for their country in South African wars was consecrated on Sunday, June 14th, 1914, by the Bishop of Grahamstown. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Lewis Michell in September, 1913.

The building, which is built entirely of stone, has a pleasing external appearance, while the interior, though perhaps a little heavy to some minds, is nevertheless imposing. It provides seating accommodation for about 300. The acoustic properties of the edifice are excellent. Owing to the large number of boys at present in residence at the College it was not possible to issue a general invitation to those interested in the institution. Nevertheless Old Andreans were welcomed and they were well represented. The College Council and College Staff were also among the congregation. The College Cadets were in uniform, as were also several Old Andreans.

The ceremony of consecration had its picturesque as well as its impressive side. The Bishop, attended by his Chaplain, Chancellor West, was received at the north door by the Principal, the Reverend P. W. H. Kettlewell, and other clergy in their surplices. Here the petition for consecration was read and there being no impediment the Bishop signified his assent. The Bishop, clergy, and choir then went round the outside of the building chanting the Psalms "Laetatus sum" and "Memento, Domine." At the South door brief prayer was offered, and the Bishop taking his Pastoral Staff in his right hand knocked three times upon the closed door saying "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of Glory shall come in." Subsequently the doors were opened wide and the keys were delivered to his Lordship by Mr. L. L. Giddy, Chairman of the College Council.

After the Hymn "Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire," had been sung, prayers were offered for the Archbishop of Cape Town and the Bishop of Grahamstown, King George, and that the Chapel of S. Andrew's College may be hallowed by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Further prayers having been recited, the Bishop pronounced the words.

"Vouchsafe, O Lord, to be present with us who are here gathered together with all humility and readiness of heart to consecrate this place to the honour of Thy great Name. We desire to separate it henceforth from all unhallowed, ordinary, and common uses, and to dedicate it entirely to Thy service; for celebrating Thy Holy Sacraments; for offering to Thy glorious Majesty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, etc."

After this prayer the Bishop, with his Chaplains and the College Principal proceeded to the font, chancel steps, the lectern, the clergy stalls, choir seats, sanctuary steps, the memorial windows and tablets and lastly to the altar, offering special and appropriate prayers in each case. The ornaments, holy vessels and fair linen cloths were presented to the Bishop, after which his Lordship taking the Pastoral Staff in hand solemnly pronounced the consecration in these words:

"By virtue of our sacred office in the Church of God we do now consecrate, and for ever set apart from all profane and common uses this House of God, under the name of the Chapel of S. Andrew's College and to the glory of the ever blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen."

"Peace be within these walls and holiness which becometh God’s House for ever."

"Behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the Angels of God ascending and descending on it. Surely the Lord is in this place. This is none other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven."

The sentence of consecration was then read by the Chancellor of the Diocese, Advocate C. C. Currey, which done the Bishop signed and sealed it, declared the Chapel to be consecrated, and returning the sentence to the Chancellor ordered him to enroll and preserve the document in the monuments of the Registry of the Diocese. The Recessional Hymn was then sung, followed by a celebration of the Holy Communion. Collects were then said, followed by the Epistle, read by the Rev. W.G. Dowsley, and the Gospel read by the Principal. After the singing of the hymn "The Church"s one foundation," and further prayers the Principal read the following list of Old Andreans to whose memory the chapel was erected:

Frank Hillier.
Reginald Lawrence Graham.
William Alexander Maclean
John Charles Glass
Dionysius Stone
George Liddle Fuller
Castell Damant Bowker White.
William Herbert Montague Greathead.
Guy Armstrong Holland.
Edward Whitnall Dampier.
Louis Alexander Maasdorp.
Edwin Charles Robertson
Ewan Christian.
Frederick Charles Frieslich.
P. P. Williams.
Bertram Eric Webb.
Guy Vivian Grice.
Castell Guybon Atherstone.
Edwin Ogilvie Atherstone.
George Drennan.
Horatio William Joseph Hutchons.
Walter Harding Brink.
Herman James Jansen.
Clifford Arthur Turpin.
Frederick Charles Roberts.
James William Maasdorp.
Henry Janion.
Henry Maynard Roberts.
John Pickering.

The proceedings, which throughout had been solemn and impressive, concluded with a verse of the National Anthem.

Special music had been composed by the organist and choirmaster, Mr. E. A. Abbott, for Kipling's Recessional Hymn, and the choir rendered it beautifully.

At the evensong Tour's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and Hopkins' Anthem "Lift up your heads," were a special feature of the service.

Now that all the stained glass that has so far been presented is in its place it seems well to give some account of the windows for the benefit of those of our readers who have not yet seen the new Chapel.

In the apse are six Gothic windows which have been filled with stained glass by members of the Graham family as memorial to their relatives who have passed away. A memorial tablet reads:


The first window on the North side of the altar represents the Archangel Michael in armour with flaming sword and shield triumphant over Satan. The second is S. Paul, in his right hand the open book signifying the Pauline Epistles, and in his left the sword typical of his martyrdom. The third represents our Lord as Priest in alb and cope and His right hand raised to bless, His left holding a pastoral staff. The next window shows our Lord as King, crowned and robed in royal purple, in the right hand a scepter, in the left an orb. Next comes the patron saint of the Chapel and the School. S. Andrew, standing behind a large X shaped cross, the symbol of his martyrdom; and holding in his right hand a miniature of the Chapel, a device frequently found in old French glass.

The sixth and last contains the figure of the Archangel Gabriel bearing the madonna lily in his hand. The first and sixth windows bear the arms of the Grahams of Fintry. They are all the work of Messrs. Morris & Co., of London.

The large West window is the work of Mr. C. W. Whale of Ravenscourt Park, and is full of that artist's originality and vigour. The donors were most anxious to have Watts' Happy Warrior introduced as well as the Union Jack and Royal Standard, which form the device of the Imperial Light Horse to which Castell White belonged. After some hesitation Mr. Whale agreed to attempt to carry out their wishes though the subjects were difficult. He secured Mrs. Watts' consent and introduced the Happy Warrior into the top light of the tracery and filled the rest of the tracery with the Union Jack, using the Royal Standard as the background for the figure of S. George in silver plate-armour over chain mail, with the dragon at his feet. In his right hand is a drawn sword and on his left arm a shield with S. George's cross. In the light on the right is S. Alban in a Roman legionary’s dress, holding the sword and palm symbolic of his martyrdom. On the left of S. George stands S. Stephen robed in red tunicle, holding the martyr’s palm. Nothing could be more appropriate in a memorial such as this than the figure of the patron saint of England supported by the first martyr, and the first British soldier to suffer martyrdom. We owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Whale who has produced a work which adds to the beauty and dignity of a beautiful and dignified building, and also to Mrs. Watts for allowing the reproduction of her husband's great picture.

Below the window to the right of the baptistery a memorial brass has been placed:


Under Castell White’s brass is another in memory of Claude Bettington:


The Festal Altar Frontal and Super-Frontal were designed by Mr. E. Spencer and Miss G. A. T. Norris and were worked by Miss Norris, Leehdale, Gloucestershire. It is richly embroidered in five panels on ivory damask silk (designed by Mr. E. W. Cowper) and red velvet with gold brocalatte.

The symbolism in the design is as follows:

Super-Frontal, five Roses, symbolizing the five wounds.
Frontal,Roses of Martyrs.
Lilies of Virgins.
Seven Silver Stars, representing the Seven Churches.
Small Golden Stars, representing the multitude of the Heavenly Host.

Conventional treatment – suggesting hills, along the base of Frontal, "The Hills of Paradise, those Hills of Myrrh and Flowers."

(Small flowering plants in pre-Raphaelite style are introduced here).

Scan of original document provided by Penny Tyson, Archivist, St Andrew's College, Grahamstown.

Ref: St Andrew's College Magazine, Sept 1914, Vol. XXXVI, No. 143: pgs 108 – 115

Submitted by William MARTINSON

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

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 125
Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2015. Church tourism in South Africa : a travel odyssey. South Africa: Self-published by Philippe Menache and Darryl Earl David. pg 23