Things To Do in CradockThe Dutch Reformed Mother Church
Where? Stockenstroom St, Cradock, Karoo Heartland, Eastern Cape.
When? Best during daylight hours.
How? Call Not Available
How much? Price on request
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed denomination in the Netherlands, stemming from the Roman Catholic Church, beginning in 1570. It was an amalgamation between the Reformed and Evangelical churches in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Reformed Church developed during the Great Trek of the Boers in the latter part of the 1830ís. The church remained intact during British rule and evolved into the NG Kerk, with predominantly Afrikaans worshippers.
The Dutch Reformed Mother Church can be found in Church Street in the town of Cradock, and was built in 1868. The church architecture was loosely based on the St. Martinís in the Field Church, in Trafalgar Square. The Mother Church is rich with history, with the christening of statesman Paul Kruger in 1826, and ironically its roof was used as a look-out point for British soldiers during the Anglo-boer war.
The building itself was met with controversy when the builder refused to hand over the keys at the opening ceremony in 1868, until the final payments had been handed over. Apparently the community clubbed together and contributed towards the final sum, which supposedly amounted to £24 500.
The church makes a powerful architectural statement within the small town of Cradock. The corner stone was laid in 1832 and it inaugurated in 1842. The beautiful wooden ceiling and stinkwood pulpit are visually impressive, harkening back to a time when such craftsmanship was employed in churches.