TRAVELBUCKET

JOURNEY OF CHURCHES

This sandstone building you will find in the settlement of Riebeeck East in the Eastern Cape. Piet Retief, the Voortrekker leader, farmed in the area.

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On 27 March 1909 a decision was taken that Joubertina (Eastern Cape) is in need of a church. The stone for the exterior was to be sourced from the region and the interior of the church should be adorned with “oprecth geelhout” (yellowwood) from the Tsitsikamma.  The yellowwood was then carted with ox wagons from the Knysna region and 400 loads of stone at a cost of R0.25 per  load were were carted from a cliff between Twee Riviere and Joubertina.  Building work completed two years later in 1911.

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Another of my favourite Sophy Gray churches.  The plans for St Mark’s were based on Littlemore Church, near Oxford in England.   Three stonemasons were used to build the church and it was completed in 13 months. The windows might be the oldest in South Africa as it dates back to before Van Riebeeck arrived in the Cape of Good Hope. It was recovered from a church in Germany during the French Revolution, brought to England and then found its way to South Africa.
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