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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 December '09: Holy Trinity Church, Belvidere

"Anything special you would like to see?" asked by my brother on the first day of the holiday. "Oh, yes! That little Anglican church on the lake somewhere just before Knysna," was my quick response. When we were children, my mother's favourite detour on our journey to her sister's farm, Assegai Bush, outside Grahamstown, was the Holy Trinity Church on the Belvidere Estate, on the banks of the Knysna River.

As children we would peek into its dark depths with its jewel-like stained glass windows, admire the handstitched kneelers and read aloud the gravestones under the oaks, wondering what adventures had brought the deceased parishoners from the English shires to the then wilderness during the mid-nineteeth century. The miniature church built in the Norman style of the 11th and 12th centuries looks quite at home in the lush landscape of the south-eastern coast of Africa. It was built by Thomas Henry Duthie, founder of the Belividere Estate from 1833-1857.

It is good to know that the little stone church is still a place of active worship for local residents and many visitors and the centre of a parish comprised of foresters and sawmill operators who work in the Knysna forests. The little white rectory with its English country garden delighted my sister-in-law and I.


Vicki Lane said...

What a little gem! Had I seen the picture alone, I'd have been sure it was in England. And the rectory is charming.

willow said...

Ah, this is the kind of place I worship, in my mind's eye!

Gaelyn said...

What a marvelous example of the Normandy style. It certainly could have been set in England. Isn't it nice to revisit places from our past, usually. I see it's not far off N2 so I will add it too my ever growing list of things to see. Thanks for sharing this memory and the present.

pammiejo said...

As usual, I enjoy reading your blog and seeing all the sights! I'm reading the book A GUIDE TO THE BIREDS OF EAST AFRICA by Nicholas Drayson (have you read it). His writing style about Africa reminds me of Alexander McCall Smith's tales of Africa. Have enjoyed the read. PAM

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

This is just beautiful Eleanor!

Anonymous said...

thats my house! we are lucky enough to live in the old rectory. my mother and step dad are great gardeners, its lovely to see it- i'm overseas teaching so its a real suprise. a lot of the plants are indigenous though, so not so english! But i'll tell my mother- she'll be so happy!