Friday, August 20, 2010

St Mary's Church

The Anglican Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin stands just off Market Square next to the old Public Library in Port Elizabeth. The church's foundation stone was laid in 1825 and it was finally opened in 1832. In 1895 the building was gutted by fire, but it was quickly rebuilt with money donated from people as diverse as the Cape Prime Minister, Cecil Rhodes and President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal.


  1. Great photo, I love old churches

  2. A wonderful photo of a heavenly church! Yes, I wonder what she looks like inside (hint, hint)

  3. I have hesitated to photo churches downtown, because of the modern buildings in the way, but this looks really cool, with the skyscraper in the background. So much contrast!

  4. The design looks elegantly simple, but the texture of the stone makes it wonderful!

  5. I sang in this church choir from 1996 - 2008 before I relocated to Joburg.
    Lots of memories.

  6. How the church came to be gutted by fire was through a demented pyromaniac, Mary Livingston Johnstone, who also set the Hill Presbyterian Church ablaze and attempted to do the same at St. Augustine's. She was later sent to Robben Island. The fire resulted in the church being remodeled into the layout existing today.

    For contemporary photos see

  7. Beautiful photo! Can anyone inform me as to how I can obtain a history of St Mary's Church and its congregants from the period of its foundation until it was destroyed by fire? Much appreciated.
    Yours sincerely, Merlin Houzet

    1. hi i am theo a congregation member of st marys, if you want any info you can contact our parish secertary between 9 and twelve on week days and im sure she can help