Sophy Gray Churches

Sophy Gray according to wikipedia:

Sophy Gray or Sophia Gray (5 January 1814 - 27 April 1871), was a Diocesan administrator, artist, architect, horsewoman and the wife of Cape Town bishop Robert Gray. Born 5 January 1814 at Easington in Yorkshire, the 5th daughter of county squire Richard Wharton Myddleton of Durham and Yorkshire, she died at Bishopscourt, Cape Town on 27 April 1871 and was buried in the graveyard of St Saviour's in Claremont. E Hermitage Day wrote "the constant companion of (Robert Gray's) travels, the untiring amanuensis and accountant, the skilful designer of churches, the brightness and stay of his home life at Bishopscourt."

Sophy and Robert came to Cape Town, South Africa in 1847 to establish a new colonial diocese, new churches and schools.  Sophy had brought along architectural plans of churches that could be adapted to design churches for the new Anglican parishes that were to be established.  Between 1848 and 1880 Sophy designed 40 churches in South Africa.

Visiting Sophy Gray Churches:

My husband and I found our first Sophy Gray church by chance while walking around in Caledon in December 2011.  While visiting the All Saints Church in Somerset East we learned more about Sophy Gray and her churches.  Therealso is a Shophy Gray church in both of our home towns, George and Mossel Bay.

We want to try visit all of these churches.  We don’t know if all of them still exists and how many alternations were made but I will keep you updated as we learn more.

Here is a list of all Sophy's churches with the year they were built and when we visited them:

Year built
1St Paul's Church, Eerste River1848
2St James' Church, Graaff-Reinet1848May-12
3St Paul's Church, Rondebosch, Cape Town1849
4St George's Church, Knysna1849Jun-15
5School Chapel, Beaufort West1849Sep-12
6Christ Church, Colesberg1849
7St Mark's Church, George1849Jan-13
8Holy Trinity Church, Caledon1850Dec-11
9St Saviour's Church, Claremont, Cape Town1850Demolished 1904
10Holy Trinity Church, Belvidere, Knysna1851
11St Peter's Church, Pietermaritzburg1851
12Christ Church, Swellendam1852Apr-13: Demolished, new church on old foundations
13Christ Church, Beaufort West1852Sep-12
14St James the Great Church, Worcester1852
15St John the Baptist Church, Schoonberg, Langkloof1853
16All Saints Church, Somerset East1854May-12
17St Paul's Church, North End, Port Elizabeth1854Demolished 1959
18St Matthew's Church, Riversdale1854Dec-12
19School Chapel, Mossel Bay1855Jul-12
20Newlands Chapel, Newlands, Cape Town1856
21Armstrong Memorial Chapel, Grahamstown1856Demolished 1950
22St Peter's Church, Cradock1857
23Church of St Mary the Virgin, Woodstock, Cape Town1859
24All Saints Church, Bredasdorp1859
25St Andrew's Chapel, Ceres1860
26St Jude's Church, Oudtshoorn1860Aug-13
27Constantia Chapel near Cape Town1860
28All Saints Chapel, Durbanville1860
29St Mary's Church, Robertson1861
30St Thomas' Mission Station, Rondebosch, Cape Town1864
31St John's Church, Clanwilliam1864
32St Mark's Chapel, District Six, Cape Town1865Demolished 1960's
33St Patrick's Church, Umzinto, KwaZulu-Natal1868
34St Augustine's Chapel, Fraserburg1869
35St Luke's Mission Church, Swellendam1869Apr-13
36St John's Church, Victoria West1869Sep-12
37All Saints Church, Uniondale1869
38St Mildred's Chapel, Montagu1870
39St Peter's Church, Plettenberg Bay1879Apr-12
40St Matthew's Church, Willowmore1880


  1. Good evening
    I wondered if you had visited St Paul's in Eersteriver please. I lived there more than 60 years ago and would like to know more about the church where my great grandparents were married.Keith Wilson London England


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