Famous Heritage Sites In Montagu
4 min read
Montagu has been around since the 1800s and has a rich history which you can read about here. A historical walk through Montagu has been compiled and you can look at the map for this here. This walk covers the important historical buildings in Montagu centre and gives you a little bit of information about each building. We thought we would highlight some of the must-see buildings in Montagu, so if you don’t have the time to see them all, you can have a whistle stop tour of the famous heritage sites in Montagu.
St Mildred’s Church (1871)
The small Anglican church was designed by Sophy Gray, one of the many she designed across the country, and is stop number 3 on the map. Sophy was the wife of Robert Gray, who was consecrated as the first Anglican bishop of Cape Town in Westminster in 1847. Although she was never formally trained as an architect, Sophy had thorough knowledge of the English rural church architectural style and St Mildred’s Church is a perfect example of this. Having designed over 40 churches, the one in Montagu was her third to last design.
Montagu Museum Complex
The Montagu Museum is sort of a three-in-one, as the museum stretches across three buildings: the Joubert House (1853), the KWV Building (1930s), and the Mission Church (1907).
The Joubert House is located at 25 Long Street (number 8 on the map) and is the oldest surviving residence in Montagu. The first prison was reportedly located in the outbuilding. By 1970 the municipality declared the building uninhabitable, but the Montagu Museum bought the property in 1983. They restored Joubert House and transformed it into a house-museum, showing the rural way of life from the 1850s onwards. It houses a collection of old toys and there is an Indigenous Medicinal Plant Garden in the backyard.
The KWV Building is located at the corner of Long Street and Kohler Street and is number 14 on the map. The buildings are evidence of the town’s long agricultural and distilling history. Today the buildings are used as art galleries to display art from locals.
The Old Mission Church can be found opposite the KWV Building and is number 15 on the map. The church was built in the neo-Gothic style and functioned as a Dutch Reformed Church until 1970. The building was then closed but reopened as the Montagu Museum in 1975 and was declared as a national monument in 1976. Today one can see some of the original elements of the church when visiting, as well as a display of religious memorabilia, recently discovered rock art, and herbal mixtures based on herbal remedies used by the Khoekhoen and San.
The Dutch Reformed Church (1858 – 1862)
The Dutch Reformed Church (number 20 on the map) was designed by George Burkett in a neo-Gothic style and constructed by Joseph Barry for £4300. The eastern and western galleries were added in 1906 and designed by John Parker. After complaints that the exterior’s white paint was nearly blinding in sunlight, the church was painted yellow as we see today.
The Montagu Country Hotel (1875)
The Montagu Country Hotel is number 22 on the map and was the first hotel in Montagu. The original building was designed by Christiaan Schlacht and featured Victorian accents like ornamental wrought iron broekieslace. The current Art Deco style hotel was constructed in 1932 and the original Victorian building was knocked down upon the completion of the new hotel. The hotel had some controversy around it in 1880 as the owner refused to host the President of the Transvaal, Paul Kruger, and his entourage at the last minute due to a dislike of his politics.
These are but a few stops on the historical walk of Montagu and we highly recommend that you visit all the stops if you can! If you require any directions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff at reception. They will be able to help or point you in the correct direction. We hope you find our town as charming and interesting as we do.
Download the Historical Walk Through Montagu Map or more information when you visit us again.