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Moravian Church for the United Brethren
Mamre, Western Cape

John W MELVILL: Architect



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33°30'21.75" S 18°28'15.60" E Alt: 188m

The mission church of the United Brethren at Groenkloof was erected in 1816-17, with a façade designed by John MELVILL – who had succeeded THIBAULT as Inspector of Government Buildings. It is an interesting attempt at a German-type double-ended church by an Englishman, and has a character reminiscent of Puritan churches in England and North America (the classicist character was early marred by the addition of baroque side gables.

Two designs for the façade were submitted, one by the contractor, SCHROEDER, and the other by MELVILL, the latter being unanimously preferred as 'more tasteful'. (Latrobe Journal of a visit to S.A.…. London 1818. 346.)

(DSAB IV:357; SESA 7: 165)

See the Parsonage next door.

These notes were last edited on 2020 11 17

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 46
Hoevers, Jan. 2005. Van Kerke en Dorpe. Historiese vertellinge oor die oudste kerke en dorpe in Suid-Afrika. Centurion: Publiself Uitgewers. pg 68
Lewcock, Ronald. 1963. Early Nineteenth Century Architecture in South Africa : a study of the interaction of two cultures, 1795-1837. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pg 76
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 128
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 60, 61
Oxley, John. 1992. Places of Worship in South Africa. Halfway House: Southern Book Publishers. pg 69-71
Richardson, Deidré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 118
Anonymous MAMRE: in Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1972. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 7 Lit-Mus: pp 165