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Urquhart House Museum

Urquhart House Museum

Category

Description

The large erf at the southern extremity of Market Square, on which Urquhart House stands today, was granted in freehold to Johan Hendrik Greyling on 1 January 1806, which places it amongst the earliest plots transferred into private ownership in Graaff-Reinet. Greyling sold the property to Jan Cornelis in 1821 for 36 000 Gilden, which seems to suggest that the house had already been erected on the plot. The house was built between 1806 and 1821.

Another noteworthy owner of the property was Charles James Spiller, an 1820 Settler and secretary of the local Midland Agency and Trust Company until his tragic murder in May 1866. After changing hands, a number of times the house (with the erf) was purchased by a prominent businessman, David Sebastian Martin Casper Carel Schultz. It was during his period of ownership that the house accommodated Clegg’s Midland Hotel.

Schultz was probably instrumental in “modernizing” the house towards the end of the nineteenth century. The gables were clipped, the former thatched roof was removed and replaced by a corrugated iron roof and a timber verandah was added, all to comply with the fashion of the time. Schultz’s deceased estate sub-divided the large erf in 1912, the portion with the house on it being bought by Herbert Urquhart M.B.E., a well-loved Graaff-Reinet businessman, and longest-serving mayor in the history of the town, holding office for 21 consecutive years from 1915 to 1936. The municipality purchased the property from the Urquhart Estate in 1964.

VISITING HOURS
Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 13:00 and 13:45 – 16:30
Friday 08:00 – 13:00 and 13:30 – 16:00
Saturdays Closed two Saturdays per month (Contact Museum for schedule)
Sundays Closed
Public holidays Closed

SERVICES
Archival repository
Genealogical research inquiries
Guided tours on request
Educational tours on request

ATTRACTIONS
Collection of Victorian furniture
Merino room and farm implements
Peach–pip floor
An archival repository.