Stories and Traveltips

ID #4958

Bells of Graaff-Reinet, Karoo, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

The bells of the NG Grootkerk have summoned the congregation to worship for more than a century. Two bells were installed in the church tower shortly after its completion in 1886. One has a higher pitch than the other. Tradition has it that they summon the congregation with the words: “Kom kerk-toe, bring n pennie saam” (come to church and bring a penny).  The heavy bell in the bellfry of St James’ Anglican Church is almost as old, having been installed in 1894.  James Reeve and partners presented the church with “a ring of bells” consisting of three bells.  They were later recast in London as a single large bell. The Angelus bell hangs in a metal bellcote adjacent to the Roman Catholic Church in Bourke Street.  Its origin and date of erection are unknown.  The oldest bell in Graaff-Reinet is the bell of the former Oefeningshuis, which is now the Hester Rupert Art Museum. Originally, it stood on Church Street. When the building was restored in 1966, it was moved to a new standard adjacent to the original main entrance to the church, which is now at the rear of the building when viewed from Church Street. Its origin is uncertain.  It might have been from the first Dutch Reformed Church at the lower end of Church Street that was destroyed by fire in 1799 before its completion. Teddy Whitlock.

Graaff-Reinet is on the R61 east of Beaufort West, which is at the intersection of the N1 with the N12.

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Last update: 2014-05-14 01:49
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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