Historical Walk of Greyton

Historical WALK

For a more elaborate account of the history of Greyton see the website section on the history and architectural heritage of Greyton.

On the Main Road as you come in to Greyton on your left is the Library (1), the second oldest building in the town - originally a small Anglican Church school for young children. Next to it is the Old Moravian Hall (2). A little further along is A Little Bizarre, a gift shop, and behind it is the Kraal Gallery. As you continue long Main Road, the double-stored on the left was once the home of the Mays family and is one of the oldest buildings in the village. At the back of the double-stored building (3) is a very old thatched roof cottage which predates the founding of Greyton in 1854. It is a National Heritage building. On the opposite side of the road are two well-known Greyton restaurants – the Abbey Rose and Peccadillos Bistro.

Turn right into Justice Street and at the end of the road you will see Die Gang (13) (No. 8). This house, which now incorporates original outbuildings for horses, pigs, cows and poultry, was the home of the Parel family from 1864. They bred horses which were grazed on the commonage. On the opposite corner is a low thatched cottage, Golden Pond (14) (26 Vigne Lane), said to have been a cottage used by Herbert Vigne, founder of Greyton. His original farm, of which there is no longer any trace, was directly opposite.

The Post House (4), on the corner of Main Road and Uitkyk Street is where the original road from Genadendal entered the town’s Market Street. This was the town’s main intersection. The building was originally a profitable trading store of the De Villiers family. It also incorporated several “nagmaalkamers” where parishioners attending nagmaal in the town could overnight. Later, the part of the building that is now the Post House pub was the village’s first Post Office. It too is a National Heritage building.

Turn right into Vigne Lane, where some of the original mud-brick houses (15) of Greyton, built between 1860 and 1870 are still to be seen on the right hand side of the road. Walk back up to Main Road. Looking up past The Post House you will see the Moravian Church (5) (formerly the Dutch Reformed Church). Turn right into Main Road and into the modern-day village centre. Just past the Information Office, Via’s (16) deli occupies the former trading store of H.E. Babst (see the name on the façade). At the intersection of Main Road and High Street is the Village Business Centre. This was built back in 1925 as the Central Hotel Inn (17). Over the road is A.G Osman & Sons (18). Mr Osman's grandfather first came to Greyton in 1920. He traded across the road in what is today the Greyt Oak Centre before moving into the present premises in 1934.

Turn right at that stop street and walk down Ds Botha Street past Railway House (6), which presently houses two galleries. The building was built for SAR&H as a depot for goods that arrived by wagon and cart and later truck from Caledon Station. Farmers and villagers would take their produce to the store from where their goods would be collected and sent to Cape Town markets.

Walk down High Street past Osman's to St Andrew's Anglican Church (19). The church was built in 1904 and also has Genadendal made catches on the windows. The gravestone of Greyton’s founder, Herbert Vigne and his wife Elizabeth (nee Belshaw), has recently been relocated from a neglected cemetery in Caledon to the grounds of St Andrew’s Church. A plaque on the low wall gives relevant information. Turn left into Jones Street. The buildings on your right are part of the old Anglican Church hall and manse. Turn left into Cross Market Street and right into Main Road. The (20) Greyton Market stalls on the village square were erected by the Conservation Society, and a produce and craft market is held here every Saturday morning. The Dutch Reformed Church (21) on your left was built in 1964, and the build- ing beyond the tennis courts is the DRC Hall (22).

Further along Ds Botha Street is a long, low building under the oaks - The Oak & Vigne Café (7). The very old portion of the building was once used as a school, until the school was moved over the road into the building that now houses the Theewaterskloof municipal offices (9). The adjacent Vanilla Café (8), in an upgraded old barn, was the wagon maker’s workshop in the days of horse and wagon. Drivers and outriders slept overnight in the barn’s upstairs loft while their oxen and horses were let loose to graze on the commonage.

At the intersection of Ds Botha and Oak Streets, look left. The recently restored, attractive double storey building facing you was once a school hostel (10). Adjacent to this is the David Kuijers art gallery. On the opposite side of the road, a new building houses the Greyton Grocer, the Post Office and fuel station. Next to it is a very old small cottage – now a shop – that was the home and forge of the village blacksmith (11).

At the intersection of Main Road and Grey Street is the Greyton Lodge (23). Part of this build- ing, which became a hotel in 1985, dates back to 1882. At one time rooms 4, 5 and 6 were police cells.

Turn right into Oak Street. A little way down the street on the right side, under oak trees, is a flat- roofed, double stored house (12) (No.22). The present owner's grandfather, old Mr Coxson, used to sit upstairs at his workbench in front of a window, repairing shoes. The barn was used as an undertaker’s parlour. The family still has an old high chair, which Mr Coxon made out of soap- boxes, as well as other interesting family heirlooms.

Turn right into Grey Street, then left into Vlei Street. The open land beyond Vlei Street is part of Greyton's commonage. Look for the recently restored communal ‘skaapkraal’(24) (sheep kraal) with explanatory plaque.

Turn right just before Regent Street and walk down to Greyton's picnic spot (25) on the Gobos River. Return up Regent Street and turn left into Main Road. On the corner of Kloof Street and Main Road is The Lord Pickleby (26), a B&B that was the original Belshaw family home (daughter Elizabeth married Herbert Vigne).