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New Church
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape

Peter PENKETH: Architect

Type:Congregational Church
Status:Demolished 1878

Also The Scotch Church and Robson's Congregational Church.

The Church was constructed in 1852/53, on the corner of Main Street (Govan Mbeki Ave) and Donkin Street. At the time, Constitution Hill was on the other corner but this road no longer extends down to Main Street. It was an Independent Congregational Church and was also known as The Scotch Church and Robson's Congregational Church, referring to Pastor Robinson who was the minister in charge. The building was probably most noted for its belfry clock, known as the "Town Clock". The clock was later given to the town by William Jones and included in the new clock tower of the town hall on market square. The church's use declined following the construction of a new Presbyterian church higher up the hill and was sold to John Holland, in 1878, who had the building altered and given a new street frontage to accommodate his auction business, the Armstrong Auction Rooms. The architect was J. DIX-PEEK. In 1926 the Netherland Bank acquired the building, Netherlands Bank. It is not clear if the new bank by SIEMERINK included elements of the original church but certainly the elevational treatment of the building was completely changed. This building was in turn demolished in 1976 and the new Nedbank Building constructed on the site and incorporated the lower part of Constitution Hill. This building is still extant.

(Gerald Humphrey 2015)

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.

Books that reference New Church

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 Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis.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 126