17 September 2013

St Mark’s Cathedral, George


Hello everyone,



I was very excited to visit St Mark’s Cathedral in George.  I have passed this building in my hometown hundreds of times but have never even entered the gate.  And I knew very little about this cathedral’s history.  Then in 2012 H and I started to visit churches designed by Sophy Gray.  When I learned that St Mark’s was one of them I really wanted to visit .  

We went for a walk to explore some of George’s old buildings in January this year.  (Read more here, here and here)  The church ground was open when we reached it, but visiting hours for the inside was over.  So we will have to do that on another day.
George was one of the towns where the government placed a Colonial Chaplain for the English community.  He used the Dutch Reformed church for services but in 1848 collections were started to build a church.  In February 1848 Bishop Gray arrived in the Cape.  His wife Sophy laid the foundation stone on 23 October 1849 and Bishop Gray consecrated it on 7 December 1850. Since then lots of additions were made.  The porch was added in about 1908, the South transept in 1934, North transept and Lady Chapel in 1954. 

Sophy’s plans for St Mark’s were based on Littlemore Church, near Oxford in England, designed by Henry Jones Underwood.
 
Three stonemasons were used to build the church and it was completed in 13 months.  They used large blocks of red-brown stone that had to be quarried from a farm some distance away.

 

We walked around the church and found a small cemetery at the back.  There are some old and interesting graves.


This is the memorial:  “Sacred to the Memory of Major HD Warden, Late British Resident of the Orange River, Sovereignty and Founder of Bloemfontein who died on the 2nd December 1856

St Mark's Cathedral, George
Major HD Warden
Then there was this grave.  The inscription was very difficult to read. I think is reads “In Memory of Henry Fancourt White who died at Blanco on the 6th of October 1866” and “Builder of the Montagu Pass and Founder of Blanco” 
St Mark's Cathedral, George
Henry Fancourt White



I used information from “The Bishop’s Churches” by Desmond Martin 
and the website of St Mark’s Cathedral (http://www.stmarkscathedral.co.za)
All photos are by me 


Linking up with 
Friends around the world 
and
Travel Tuesday.

Friends Around the World Link Up

A Compass Rose

10 comments:

  1. Absolutely stunning! Thank you for linking up today and spreading the word! So excited to follow your blog!

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    1. Thanks. This the first linkup I joined and it was fun. Will look out for more. I also found some interesting blogs to follow.

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  2. Hi! I found you via the friends around the world linkup. I'm another blogger based in South Africa (Cape Town), and I'm so excited to find your blog! Yay! X Jane http://janeheinrichs.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Thanks for the comment. I visited your blog and love the drawings. And I will read some more in the future.

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  3. What a beautiful place to visit! For some reason, I always find myself finding the nearest historic graveyard in my travels and this one sounds fascinating :)

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    1. We always try to find a church, an old graveyard and a war memrial in every town we visit. It just sad that so many old graves are being vandalised in South Africa

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  4. Hi, also visiting from the Friends Around the World linkup! Lovely pictures! Although I've traveled all over Europe and North America, I have stepped foot in Africa... yet. I hope to someday visit South Africa, but until then I'm happy to have found your blog!

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    1. Hi, thanks for visiting. We would love to travel to Europe again but it is a bit expensive at the moment. In the mean time we are enjoy exploring the beautiful places in South Africa.

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  5. I love historic churches and graveyards. What a humbling reminder of all the life that came before us! Such a beautiful place :)

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    1. HI Jenn, I love the old stone churches and hope to see the inside of this church soon. I heard it has some beatiful stained glass windows.

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