Things To Do in KimberleyAlexander McGregor Memorial Museum
Where? 18 Chapel Street, Kimberley, Northern Cape
When? The McGregor is open to the public as a satellite of the McGregor Museum. Phone ahead if you would like a tour of the building.
How? Call 053 839 2700
How much? Price on request
Across town from the McGregor Museum - housed in the beautiful Sanatorium in which Cecil Rhodes had rooms in Kimberley - is the Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum, built as a memorial by the wife of the diamond pioneer and mayor of Kimberley, Alexander McGregor, and presented in trust to the City of Kimberley.
This beautiful building served as the original McGregor Museum until the staff and museum pieces moved to the larger premises of the Sanatorium in Belgravia in the early 1970s.
Now lovingly referred to as ‘The McGregor’ the memorial museum in Chapel Street is a timeless building erected in 1907 in typical British Victorian/Edwardian style and designed by the architect Carstairs Rogers. Its brick façade lies close to the historic Methodist Church and Manse, collectively forming an important urban architectural group from Kimberley’s past.
The two reclining female figures on the pediment were sculpted by the Italian Achille Bocciarelli, who owned the local brickworks.
At its initial premises the museum grew across forty years under the curatorship of Maria Wilman, a botanist and archaeologist, into one of the most important museums in the country until it necessitated a move into the Chapwood Building across the street, after which it moved to its current residence.
Today the memorial building on Chapel Street functions as a history museum for Kimberley, tracing the historical timeline correlating events across the rest of South Africa, and the world, with Kimberley’s history, and emphasising Kimberley’s firsts. There are many Kimberley firsts that include: the lights of Kimberley came on before those of London (1882) and Kimberley’s first coloured priest to become a bishop (1983).