Cradock is a 19th town on the banks of the Greak Fish River. The site of the town was coveted by both the Boer settlers and the Xhosa as good grazing grounds for cattle. Today, Cradock is a typical Karoo farming town with a number of historical attractions.
Sulphur hot springs
The Cradock Spa is 4km from Cradock on the Marlow Road. Visitors can enjoy the therapeutic waters in both outdoor and indoor pools.
Olive Shreiner Museum
The Olive Shreiner House Museum contains exhibits of the authoresses’ life and works. Olive spent many of her early years in Cradock . Her novel, ‘The Story of an African Farm’ is said to have been written during her time as a governess on farms in the district.
Great Fish River Museum
The Great Fish River Museum is housed in Cradock’s second Dutch Reformed church, originally built circa 1825. The museum gives a feeling of settler-life in the years after 1806 during the second British occupation of the Cape. The museum exhibits, amongst other things, furniture and domestic.
Ilex Oak Trees
Quercus Ilex Oak trees in Dundas Street were planted in 1850 and are said to be the oldest in the world.
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church at the upper end of Church Street was completed in 1868. The church was designed to look like St Martin’s-in-the-Field in Trafalgar Square in London. Paul Kruger, South Africa’s first president, was christened in the church in 1826 and his name is in the register.
Buildings and architecture
Given the age of Cradock, there are a variety of architectural styles in the town. No 38 Breë Street, built early in the 19th century and likely to be the oldest house in town, has a fine Cape Dutch gable. Other buildings worth a visit is the Anglican St Peter’s Church, an 1858 beautiful stone building with stained-glass windows. The Methodist Church was built in 1849 and the building that is now the Cradock Club was built in 1850.
Cradock Four Gallery
The Cradock Four Gallery pays homage to four the four Cradock activists – Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkonto, Fort Calata and Sicelo Mhlauli – who were killed by policemen in 1985. The men were returning to Cradock from a meeting in Port Elizabeth when they were abducted, assaulted and killed. The vehicle carrying their bodies burnt and the men’s charred remains were found days later.
The gallery displays images and texts that commemorate the men’s heroism and the transformation of the area and the country from the days of the repressive apartheid regime.
Cradock Four Garden of Remembrance
Cradock Four Garden of Remembrance was opened in memory of the four men in 2007.
Harry Potter’s Grave
Harry Potter died on 27 July 1910 at the age of 46. He was buried in Cradock. His grave is situated in Cradock Cemetery in JA Calata Street.
Pictures courtesty of Cradock Tourism