At the upper end of Church Street in Cradock, South Africa, you will find the Dutch Reformed ``Mother" Church. The church was completed in 1868 on the same site as the first Dutch Reformed church. This church community was also the first in Cradock and established in 1824, 10 years after the town received it's name.
The design of the church was based on the ``St Martins-in-the-Fields" church in Trafalgar Square in London. The great South African statesman and first President, Paul Kruger, was christened in this church in 1826 and his name appears in the register.
At the opening ceremony, attended by thousands of people, the builder refused to hand over the keys until certain contract monies had been paid. This dilemma was solved by hurriedly appealing to the masses for donations. Only a part of the outstanding monies was collected, but the builder was satisfied and the ceremony continued.
Apparently, the church had cost some 24 500 to build.
During the Anglo-Boer War, the roof of the church was used as a look-out post by the British soldiers who occupied the town.