Home
Upfront
Books
What's up
Towns
Structures
People
Firms
Lexicon
Search
Contact us

Book

Author: Picton-Seymour, Désirée
Year: 1977
Title: Victorian Buildings in South Africa
Place: Cape Town
Publisher: AA Balkema

A survey of the varied and exotic architectural styles of South African buildings constructed between 1850 and 1910 — a period loosely described as Victorian. But the scope is wider: for the period also covers the pre-1900 Transvaal Republican as well as the post-1900 Edwardian styles.

These rich and varied styles are the author's main interest: the houses, churches, schools, public and commercial buildings are described and fully illustrated: so are the architects and builders, and the materials they used.

During these great days of the British Empire places marked red on the map all had their share of almost interchangeable buildings; for this was the age of mass production and prefabrication, of cast-iron and corrugated-iron, materials ideally suited to the hotter climates, where weather conditions were often violent.

Chosen from pattern books and from foundry catalogues, architects working in South Africa exploited the rich variety of prefabricated ironmongery, and imported these from Europe to adorn and support buildings in both town and countryside, often transported overland for hundreds of miles: lamps and lamp fittings; drinking fountains; poles, brackets, spandrils and railings for verandahs; window frames and fanlights; lettering and ornaments; conservatories and bandstands; spiral staircases; and whole shopping arcades.

There are some 500 illustrations: most are photographs of buildings; and these are supplemented by more than a hundred of the author's drawings; together they provide a comprehensive visual record of extant buildings, with considerable detail.

A great part of the work has been based upon personal observation, for Desiree Picton-Seymour has travelled widely, through the length and breadth of the country: driven by a manifest enthusiasm for her subject she has tracked down architectural Victoriana, and conscientiously built up the record: the result is this exhaustive and exciting book.

The urgent need for a record of the fast-vanishing buildings of the past, says the author, provided the stimulus: "in my search for interesting buildings to draw, again and again I was confronted with the disappearance of a particular building I had remembered on some former visit to a city or dorp. 1 have drawn buildings since I could hold a pencil, and the highly ornate quality of late-nineteenth-century architecture seemed especially suited to my style. The patterned cast-iron verandahs and intricate roof-lines of these buildings were infinitely draw-able…"

Link to WorldCat - find this book in a library near you
Link to Google books - places where you can buy this book

Buildings linked to this book

Begley Bros, 1895, Cape Town. pp 82*, 83
Bellvue Seminary, n.d., Somerset East. pp 215
Boys' High School - now CP Nel Museum, 1905-1907, Oudtshoorn. pp 161, 163*
Caledon Baths, pre-1905, Caledon. pp 148*, 149
Carl Hermann Building, 1904, Cape Town. pp 58
Christelike Jongelingen-Vereniging : Hofmeyrsaal, 1874, Stellenbosch. pp 136 ill, 139
City Hall, 1897-1899, East London. pp 220 ill
Coetzenburg, refurbishment, 1893/1903, Stellenbosch. pp 134 ill, 135, 167
Colonade Building, 1895, Central, Cape Town. pp 61
Conservatory - Botanical Gardens, n.d., King William's Town. pp 23
Delponte Building, 1890s, Central, Cape Town. pp 83
Driscoll's Corner, 1894, Cape Town. pp 83-84
Electricity Power Station, pre-1910, Durban. pp 244
Empire Hotel for Thomas Mulhival, 1894, Cape Town. pp 84
Exploration Building, 1897, Johannesburg. pp 27, 39, 321, 322 ill
Feathermarket Hall, 1885, Port Elizabeth. pp 181
General Post Office, 1897 : 1905, Johannesburg. pp 323, 324 ill,
Grey Institute, 1856, Port Elizabeth. pp 180, 192
Grey University College and School - now Grey College, 1906, Bloemfontein. pp 367 ill, 369
Grey's Hospital, 1859, King William's Town. pp 225
Harbour Board Offices, 1905, Port Elizabeth. pp 38, 193, 194 ill, 195
Hotel, Kraaifontein, n.d., Kraaifontein. pp 139 & 141
Hothouse - Gardens, c1948, Central, Cape Town. pp 23
House C Foster, 1896, Kenilworth, Cape Town. pp 117
House CL Andersson: Dolobran, 1905, Parktown, Johannesburg. pp 329, 331
House De Witt: Montana Vista, c1898, Wynberg, Cape Town. pp 115
House Fred Ayres, 1895, Rondebosch, Cape Town. pp 117
House G Alexander, 1892, Cape Town. pp 58
House G Olivier: The Towers, 1902, Oudtshoorn. pp 156 ill
House Galpin: Tower house, (now the Observatory Museum), 1850, Grahamstown. pp 103-104 ill
House George Heys, Melrose House, 1887, Pretoria. pp 281, 296 ill, 297
House H Storm, n.d., Kalk Bay, Cape Town. pp 121
House J Holberg, n.d., Rondebosch, Cape Town. pp 121
House J Loopuyt, 1904, Rondebosch, Cape Town. pp 116 ill, 117
House JA Foster: Foster's Folly, 1902, Oudtshoorn. pp 155, 157 ill
House MC Lind: Gottland House, 1903, Oudtshoorn. pp 158 ill, 159
House P Bosman, 1896, Sea Point, Cape Town. pp 117
House PH Marais, Highbury, 1895, Wynberg, Cape Town. pp 117 & 121
House R Hunter, 1896, Kenilworth, Cape Town. pp 117
International Hotel, Long St, pre-1905, Cape Town. pp 84
Iziko Museum, 1893, Cape Town. pp 80 ill
JW Jagger & Co Building, 1892, Cape Town. pp 83
Koch & Dixie bldg, 1890, Cape Town. pp 83
Lennon Ltd, now Gardens Pharmacy, c1896, Cape Town. pp 63
Lennon's building, rebuilt, 1885/6, Central, Cape Town. pp 20, 21, 56*, 57, 63, 83
Lennon's Corner, 1895, Beaufort West. pp 169-170
Markham's Building, 1896, Johannesburg. pp 350
National Library of South Africa, Cape Town Campus, 1857 - 1864, Cape Town. pp 40 ill, 41
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, 1903, Johannesburg. pp 353
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk, 1863, Stellenbosch. pp 137, 138 ill
Nederlandsche Bank en Crediet Vereniging, 1896, Pretoria. pp 292-293
New Government Buildings - now Police Museum, c1890, Pretoria. pp 278 ill
Northwards, 1904 : 1912, Parktown, Johannesburg. pp 330 ill
Opera House, Grand Parade, 1894, Cape Town. pp 57, 82 ill
Palace Building, 1889, Johannesburg. pp 303, 304 ill, 317, 318 ill
Pinehurst - House Edmeades, 1911, Oudtshoorn. pp 159
Post Office, 1891, Bloemfontein. pp 367 (ill)
Post Office - Second, 1887, Johannesburg. pp 318 ill, 323
President Kruger's house, 1883, Pretoria. pp 284-185
Prince Alfred's Guard Drill Hall, 1882, Port Elizabeth. pp 185, 187 ill, 188 ill, 189 ill
Raadsaal, 1889, Central, Pretoria. pp 4, 273, 275 ill, 276-279, 290
Railway Station Building, 1884, Port Alfred. pp 215
Rand Club - Third, 1902-1904, Johannesburg. pp 337 ill, 339, 343, 347
Rust-en-Vreugd, 1777, Cape Town. pp 130-131
SA News Building, now Nasionale Pers, 1904, Cape Town. pp 109
School, nd, Clanwilliam. pp 397
Settlers' Memorial Tower, c1905, Port Elizabeth. pp 197
Sir George Grey School, later Grey College, 1856, Bloemfontein. pp 369
St John's Church, 1884, Wynberg, Cape Town. pp 131
St Mary's Cathedral, 1840-51 : 1864 : 1951, Cape Town. pp 41-43, 42 ill, 48, 58
Staatsmodel School, 1897, Pretoria. pp 281
Standard Bank, n.d., Oudtshoorn. pp 161
Stellenberg Gates, n.d., Kenilworth, Cape Town. pp 121
Stellenbosch University - Victoria College (Ou Hoofgebou), pre-1905, Stellenbosch. pp 134 ill, 135
Synagogue, 1901, Kimberley. pp 392
Telephone Exchange, 1904, Durban. pp 244
Theological Seminary (Kweekskool), c1900, Stellenbosch. pp 136 ill, 137
Town Hall and Market Buildings, 1905, Cathcart. pp 222
Town Hall, Rondebosch - now Rondebosch library, 1899, Rondebosch, Cape Town. pp 109
Victoria Cottage Hospital, Wynberg, 1891/2, Wynberg, Cape Town. pp 101
Volunteer Drill Hall, additions, 1888-9, Cape Town. pp 21
Westminster Estate Buildings: The Big House, 1904, Tweespruit. pp 377
YWCA, Long St, 1886, Cape Town. pp 63

People linked to this book

ALEXANDER, George Murray. pp 57, 58, 82-3 ill, 85, 109
BISSET, James. pp 45, 166
BULLOCK, Charles. pp 155, 156, 157, 159, 161, 163
CUTHBERT, Charles Davenport. pp 353
DE WITT, Anthony M. pp 7, 21, 38, 54, 56*, 57, 61, 63, 82*, 83, 84, 97, 100*, 101, 107 , 115, 116*, 117, 121, 131, 135, 139, 141, 142, 148, 149, 166, 171
DE ZWAAN, Wilhelm Johannes. pp 292*, 293, 295, 296, 299, 301
DONALDSON, John Stanislaus. pp 303, 304, 317, 318, 319, 363
DRAIBY, Frederick Marius Rasmussen. pp
ELLIS, John. pp 295, 297
FREEMAN, Charles AS. pp 20, 27, 33, 38, 46-54, 57-58, 61-63, 65-66, 68, 70-73, 79, 81, 85, 90-91, 131, 139, 143, 146-147, 149, 164-166, 169, 171-173, 237, 254-255, 269, 298, 346, 347-349, 355, 369, 371
GALPIN, Henry Carter. pp 23, 203-204
GOODWIN, SMALL & CUTHBERT. pp 353
GREY, Sir George. pp 28, 41, 193, 255, 369
HAGER, Carl Otto. pp 137, 138 ill, 161, 162 ill, 357, 397
HESSE, Folkert Wilko. pp 135, 136 ill
HOETS, John George Douglas. pp 375
HOETS & WEBB. pp 375
JONES, Victor Thomas. pp 5, 193-196, 321
JONES & McWILLIAMS. pp 193, 194, 195
KITCH, W. pp 57
LINDHORST, Johannes Victor. pp 318
MacGILLIVRAY, Donald. pp 107
MacGILLIVRAY & GRANT. pp 35, 107, 108, 249, 251
McINTOSH & MOFFAT. pp 295, 301-302, 320, 321, 343, 345, 353
MIDDLETON, Orlando. pp 197
MILES, William Henry. pp 181
PILKINGTON, George (Captain). pp
PRYNNE, George Halford Fellowes. pp
REID & EAST (AH & W REID & EAST). pp 343
REID, AH & W. pp 57, 102, 115, 129, 220, 223, 231, 232, 344, 370, 371
ROBERTSON, Robert MacBeth. pp 58, 77, 91, 92, 134 ill, 135, 136 ill, 137, 139, 171
SANTRY, Denis. pp 107
SEELIGER, Johann Carl Ernest. pp 79, 81, 109, 123
SMITH, George William. pp 185, 193
SMITH & DEWAR. pp 185, 188, 189, 193, 197
SOFF, Francois (Frans). pp 295, 296, 299, 369
STREET-WILSON, William. pp 239, 245, 252
STREET-WILSON & BARR. pp
STREET-WILSON & FYFE. pp 257, 259, 261 ill, 262 ill, 263
TILL, JH & AE. pp 352, 360, 376
TORSTENSON, Martin Bergman. pp
TUCKER, John Scott. pp 48, 49
VAN RIJSSE, Klaas (jnr). pp 275, 283, 284, 287*, 297*, 299
VIXSEBOXSE, Johannes Egbertus. pp 80*, 81, 155, 159*, 161, 163*, 276, 295, 365, 367*
WELLMAN, Ernest James. pp 112, 244, 321
WENTINK, Dirk Egbert. pp 295, 365, 367*
WEST, J Pender. pp 211, 221, 222, 229
WYERS, Jan Brink. pp 295, 297*, 299