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Gaoler's Cottage / Sipierhuis [Warden's House] / Old Post Office
Swellendam, Western Cape

Street:22 Swellengrebel Street


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34°01'05.86" S 20°27'08.72" E Alt: 145m

Proclaimed a National Monument in 1954, now devolved to a Provincial Heritage Resource.

In its past the Gaoler, who was housed here adjacent the Old Gaol, also served as the local post master, as attested to by a slot in the yellow-wood entrance door. (Oberholster, 1972:115)

In 1855 it became part of the Municipal properties. In this time it served as a maternity clinic. In 1967 it became the property of the Drostdy Museum Trust as in this time served variously as accommodation, storage and offices. In the most recent past it was the Tourism and Information Office for Swellendam. It is now a retail shop for a tenant. (Dumbrell, 2019)

It is thatched, with fully hipped ends, and has a rectangular, contracted-H-plan. Some internal walls have been removed, but otherwise little alteration has taken place. It was probably built in 1828. It has fine beams, with Victorian edge-moulding, and a yellowwood ceiling of broad planks. (Fransen p456)

In 2021 the building was re-thatched and received a concrete ridge capping.

These notes were last edited on 2022 06 13

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 456
Oberholster, JJ. 1972. The historical monuments of South Africa. Cape Town: Rembrandt Van Rijn Foundation for Culture at the request of the National Monuments Council. pg 115
Swellendam Heritage Association. 2018. Treasures of Swellendam. Swellendam: Swellendam Heritage Association. pg 17