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St Saviour's Church
Claremont, Cape Town, Western Cape

Sophia Wharton Myddleton (Sophy) GRAY: Architect
George WALLIS: Contractor
Adolphus William ACKERMANN: Architect
BAKER and MASEY: Architect

Date:1850 : 1871 : 1904


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33°59'02.12" S 18°27'53.50" E Alt: 38m

The site for the church was donated by Mr Rice Jones Jones, a wealthy merchant, in 1850 on condition that a church was built within the next twenty years. The original church, a small rectangular thatched building, was designed by Sophia GRAY, the foundation stone was laid on 13 November 1850 and the church consecrated 1853. From the beginning the church had a distinguished congregation and was known as "the fashionable church ... where Lady Grey (the wife of the Governor of the Cape, Sir George Grey) and all the grandees go." The congregation grew rapidly and in 1871 Adolphus ACKERMANN did plans to enlarge the church helped by prominent British architect William BUTTERFIELD who had assisted Sophia GRAY with the original church. He retained the original church as the chancel and included the attractive bell-tower. It would appear that Herbert BAKER was engaged to do works in 1894, but it is unclear what these were (Pryce-Lewis list item 30).

After the Anglo Boer War BAKER & MASEY were asked to reconstruct the church. They demolished the original church by Sophia GRAY and much of that designed by Adolphus ACKERMANN. (Price Lewis list item 950). The new church was consecrated on 17 April 1904. According to Richardson (2001) there were further additions done in 1953.

People buried in the graveyard include Sophia GRAY and her husband Bishop Robert Gray and George WALLIS.

The Calvary War Memorial is in the church grounds.

Books that reference St Saviour's Church

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 102-103
Greig, Doreen. 1970. Herbert Baker in South Africa. Cape Town: PURNELL. pg 78
Gutsche, Thelma. 1970. The Bishop's Lady. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 116, 117, 123, 132, 133, 138-141, 155, 160, 165, 173, 188, 214, 215
Keath, Michael. 1992. Herbert Baker: Architecture and Idealism 1892 - 1913: The South African Years. Gibraltar: Ashanti Pub. Ltd.. pg 30, 63 ill, 65 ill, 66, 112
Langham-Carter, RR. 1979. Nineteenth century architects etc. in the Western Cape. Cape Town: Unpublished MS, UCT Library. pg
Martin, Desmond. 2005. The Bishop's churches. Cape Town: Struik. pg 7, 11, 15, 30-31
Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2012. A Platteland Pilgrimage : 102 country churches of South Africa . South Africa: Booktown Richmond Press. pg 12
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 42 ill
Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838-1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pg 207
Richardson, Deirdré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pg 80
Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pg 98-99