1909 Karoo church offers buyers a rare opportunity

THE 1909 De Hoop Church, a beautifully preserved sandstone building and one of the oldest of the Klein Karoo, is on the market in Oudtshoorn for R1.995-million.

This historical and cultural gem in the Klein Karoo is a landmark in the area and is much- photographed by visitors.

With the Outeniqua Mountains as a backdrop, this is certainly one of the most unique properties on the market, says Seeff Oudtshoorn agent Sandra Boshoff.

The property is located about 16km outside Oudtshoorn in the De Hoop area and enjoys stunning views of the surrounding Kammanasieberge, Outeniqua, Rooiberg and Swartberg Mountain ranges.

The land is about 14ha in extent and includes 150 vacant plots of about 900m² each.

The church building is rich in historical significance and is one of the earliest Dutch Reformed Churches built in the area.

It was designed by Watson Hall, a British architect who originated from the Cape. The first cornerstone was laid in 1909 and the first minister, George Murray, was the son of the well-known Dr Andrew Murray.

The church was subsequently served by 12 pastors, but fell into disuse with the depopulation of the area, although it has been beautifully maintained and preserved, says Boshoff.

Designed in a neo-gothic cathedral style, the building was financed by farmers in the area. It was built by Scottish masons out of locally-sourced sandstone.

Some of its characteristics include the steeple with its beautiful stained-glass windows.

The interior boasts a high central ceiling dome with intricate woodwork and solid oak benches seating 700 people. The property may appeal to a developer who could turn it into a lodge with event and wedding facilities.

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