Churches, Missions & Monastries

  • COLENSO - Chievely Military Cemetary - S28.53.549 E 29.46.069
Assagai - Church of The Redeemer Lutheran Church

This Lutheran Church is in Church road Assegai and the album has images of the church exterior and overall views of the graveyard. The Church is well cared for and still very active with regular services.

Assisi Mission - South Coast

Assisi Mission and Convent was established on 8 December 1922 and the hospital in 1959. The mission lies between Port Shepstone and Highflats where the Maris Stella Trappist Mision can be found on the same road. Incl.uded in this album is the remnants of an old trading store.

Camperdown - Church of Resurrection Cemetery

The Cemetery of the Church of the Resurrection and Cemetery is in one of the back streets of the village. The small cemetery has names such as Wray, Hutton, Vanderplank, Mouseley, Parry , Aitken and Hunt among others, of persons resting in this site.

Citeaux Trappist Mission 1896

Citeaux Trappist Mission was established in 1896, and had a commanding view over the Umkomaas Valley. Citeaux was named after Citeaux, near Dijon, a Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1098. The local Mission was established as an outstation between Clairvaux, near Mpendle, and Reichenau, near Underberg. The remains of the mission can be found deep in the forests overlooking the Umkomaas Valley. All that remains is a large stone barn, residence and the remains of the shrine or Grotto. Athough high up from the river, the station drew its water from a local stream, close to a waterfall.

Clairvaux Trappist Mission 1896

Clairvaux Mission in the Impendle district lies atop a hill overlooking the Mzinga River. The mission was established in 1896, but the church was built in 1914. The church is the only structure remaining, and only traces of the mission foundations remain. The Mission is named after the Cistercian Abbey of Clairvaux in France called Clear Valley or Clairvaux. This was one of the Missions established by Abbot Francis Pfanner at the request of the community.

Durban - Berea Road Presbyterian Church 751

This church has now been put on the market and its future is uncertain. Protected by Amafa, the church has changed hands and work has commenced on alterations . (2020) All alterations have to be passed by Amafa. "The Neo-Gothic/perpendicular style Presbyterian Church was built in 1886. The walls of the church, which reach over nine metres in height, are made of a coloured clay brick and the stained glass windows fitted into the building were manufactured in England and shipped out to Durban, as was much of the original ironmongery and cabinetry. The church itself can accommodate a congregation of 300 people. Seating is still in place along with other furnishings. The 2 583 square metre site includes a large hall with approximately 275 metres of floor area, which was formerly used as a functions room and was home to the Kathleen Voysey Clinic and soup kitchen which served the needy community for many years." Ref: With thanks to Berea Mail

DURBAN BEREA - St Thomas Anglican Church

The original St Thomas Church was established by Captain Allen Gardiner in 1935 on the ridge on Berea. In 1895 the work commenced on designing this church to replace the earlier church on the Berea. The design by Athur Fyfe and William Street Wilson culminated in the laying of the foundation stone on 21 December 1899. This web site has an album with images of the site on the Ridge and that of the cemetery. This album has imagery of the church interior and exterior, memorabilia, stain glass windows and priests.

Durban Glenwood - Manning Road Methodist Church

The original site of this church was established in 1866 on the corner of South Ridge Road and Moore road, and moved to its present site in 1893. This album has images of the exterior, interior, its stain glass and facilities. Also included you will find some choice images of old minutes of Trustees, birth records and marriage records.

Glenwood Community Church and St Martins Home for Children 771

This Gallery has images of Glenwood Community Church in Bulwer Road and St Martins Diocesan Home for Children in 239 Clark Road

Durban Greyville St Josephs Church

Durban Greyville St Josephs Church or Igreja Da Sao Jose was originally built in 1852 in Grey Street, moved to West Street and in 1903 the foundation stone was laid on this site. The church was completed in 1904. Many of its congregation moved on to the new church in Florida Road, however this church still remains a place of worship. The church has plaques commemorating visits, hovever the most well known commemorates the Prince Imperial Louis Napoleon, whose body was kept here in 1879, before repatriation to England. There are images of the Gothic styled exterior and of the ornate interior architecture and windows. Adjacent to the church is the church hall built later.

Durban Berea - St Olavs and Norwegian Hall - 774

St Olav's Church started by the Norwegian community is now an interdenominational church. There is still the Hall and a room with memorabilia relating to the Norwegian influence on Durban. The hall has paintings by Nils Andersen who became a sought after painter and WWII commissioned official artist. This album has images of the church interior, hall and offices.

Durban - Greyville Presbyterian Church 770

Greyville Presbyterian Church at 158 Windemere Road was founded in 1893. It seems from a foundation stone that the present church was built in 1923, the Architect being Street-Wilson and Paton. For many years Reverend H Yule presided over this congregation. The church has many elaborate stained-glass windows donated bt congregants.

Durban North - St Martins Anglican Church

St Martins Anglican Church in 12 Chelsea Drive, was built in 1934. The original church is now the church hall, and the foundation stones for the attractive new church laid down on 26 February 1949.

Durban Point Road Churches

This album features some of the early churches established in the Point area. The Point was one of the earliest areas settled in the 1840's and has been expanded over the years by reclaiming harbor waters. This album features images of the interiors, and exteriors of the Durban Christ Church Addington, Durban Addington Methodist Church, and St Peters Catholic Church.

Durban - Seaview Lutheran Church 765

This small wood and iron church with tongue and groove wooden ceilings is on Sarnia Road. The Church has no acompanying graveyard and there is little memorabilia in the church.

Durban - Seaview All Saints Church - 775

Durban All Saints Church was established largely at the instance of the Stainbank family. Impetus to this was given by the fire that destroyed the church at the Coedmore. Many of the stained-glass windows were made by Wilgeford Vann-Hall a friend of the S\Mary Stainbank and the Reredos was carved by Mary Stainbank in memory of her two brothers Arthur and William who died in WWI

DARGLE - St Andrews Church & Cemetery

St Andrews Church on the Dargle road has a quaint church and cemetery that has served this community since the mid 1883. The original church, built in 1883 was reconstructed into its present form in 1934. Graves with the names , Fannin, Fowler, Pratt, Singlewood, Kimber, and McKenzie liberally populate the graveyard. Many of the descendents of these families still live in this valley The most significant grave is that of Brigadier General Sir Duncan McKenzie, a farmer, transport rider and highly decorated soldier, who saw action in the Anglo Boer War, Bambatha Rebellion and WWI in South West Africa(Namibia). The album has a comprehensive record of most of the graves and that of the church interior and exterior.

Durban - St John's - The Divine - Glenwood - 777

St John’s The Divine Anglican Church, in Romanesque Revival style, at 205 Clark Road, Glenwood, has a rather austere look from the outside, having been constructed of red face-brick. This church built in 1922, is however a work of art inside. Along with the many commemorative plaques, the roof trusses above the nave and the symmetrical arches into the side aisles, give the interior its grand beauty. The apse, with dome is surrounded by aisles.There is a brick bell tower at the junction of the nave and chancel. It is however the many stained-glass windows that add to the beauty, providing subdued light.

Emmaus Parish Church & Graveyard - 407 (Bergviile)

This album has images of the Emmaus Parish Church, near Bergville and images of the graves in the vicinity relating to the Zunckel family and others who settled here and administered to the local community. The original Zunckel immigrant was Rev. Karl Zunckel from the Berlin Missionary Society, ( to join Rev. CW Posselt) who arrived in 1850 . The Zunckel family went on to farm in the Drakesburg area and also own the Royal Natal National Park Hotel.

Eshowe Churches 795

This album has images of religious sites in and around Eshowe. Included is the Martyr's Cross where the first black African was martyred for his Christian beliefs. The Mandawe Cross and church in the shape of a calabash towers over the Nkwaleni Valley. Sadly at the time this church had been vandalised . Other churches include the Anglican Cathedral, Kwa Mondi Lutheran Church on the site of the British Anglo-Zulu War fort, NGK, Trinity Lutheran Church and the Shree Gonapote Kaval Temple.

ESHOWE - Entumeni Mission

Entumeni Mission to the west of Eshowe on the Nkandla road was established in 1852 by Norwegians. The original church still stands and is surrounded by the graves of its previous ministers and sisters. The album also has images of the 1955 established Schreuder Memorial Church. The area was an important sugar producing area and was serviced by the Ntumeni Mill until its closure.

Estcourt - St Mathews Anglican Church 764

St Mathews Anglican Church in Estcourt is a beautiful example of a church built out of local sandstone in 1882. The first church was built on the Bushman's River in 1872 and then moved up to its present position in Lorne Street. The church was dedicated in 1882 by Vicar George Smith (1872-1879). The interior has as special ambience with most of the windows reflecting light through the stained-glass windows that have been donated by local families. The main altar stained-glass windows bear the names of men of the district who died in WWI. The church tower was extended later with a Gothic look about it. Alongside the church is the graveyard which is in a separate album on this site.

Giants Castle & St Andrews Church

Giants Castle in the Drackensberg Mountains (a world heritage site,is the site of many of the protected Bushmen paintings found in the area with a comprehensive display in the protected caves. Ezemvelo Conservation runs well kept accommodation in the close proximity of the Bushmen Caves. En route to the caves, one comes across Rock 75 which is a carving into the rock made by the 75th Regiment in 1874 under the leadership of Colonel A.W.Durnford.(Isandlwana fame) His mission was to prevent stock theft by the Amahlubi tribe hiding out in Lesotho. The St Andrews Retreat B & B was formerly a sanstone church built by E.A.Thompson to serve the area and the Weenen County College & Weston College. The Chuch is beautifully restored with fine stain glass windows and plaques to those who lost their lives in WWI. The cemetery has graves of some of the early residents of the area, like J.W.Moor (died 1907), one of the first owners of Hertford.

Hardenberg Mission - Matatiele

Hardenberg Trappist Mission established in 1897 lies about 12 kilometers north of Matatiele. The Mission was established at the request of the O'Reilly family and built on the Oliver family farm. (Ref: Triump and Tragedy : Trappist Missions in S.A. - Nicki Von Der Heyde - 2018 - Mariannhill Mission Press.) As was usual, the first buildings were rudimentary, and then followed with the more substantial structures. The present church was built in 1899. By 1927 there were 3 schools. The present site has substantial residences, a convent and the church has been extended to cater for a larger congregation.

Gluckstad,Bethal Mission, Fort George & Nkwaleni to Vryheid Road

This Gallery follows the road from Nkwaleni to Vryheid and has images of the 1878 Zulu War of Fort George, Gluckstad village, Bethal Mission with Stallbom graves and a few other sidings and places of interest. Fort George is not very visible and only the worn down ramparts remain.

HIGHFLATS - Himmelberg Trappist Mission

Himmelberg Mission between Umzinto and Jolivet is one of the more than twenty missions built by the Marrianhill monks. The Mission built in the 1890's has the original wood and iron church, the brick church built later in 1933 and is also home to the Himmelberg Intermediate school. There is also the convent and nuns accomodation about 500m to the north of the Mission complex. These structures are featured on this site.

Inkamana Abbey - Vryheid

Inkamana Abbey was founded in 1922 by Bishop Thomas Spreiter OSB. The Abbey belongs to the Missionary Benedictine Congregation of St Hiler with the mother church 40 km from Munich. The Monks bought land about 5 kilometers from Vryheid on the Ulundi road and built a church, school, workshops and established vegetable gardens and orchards. The school was started in 1932 and the Abbey church built between 1950 and 1952. The school has about 200 boarders . Twelve other smaller missions were established in Zululand.

IXOPO - Buddhist Retreat Centre

The Buddhist Retreat Centre close to Ixopo and 90 kilometers south of Pietermaritzburg is established on a 123 hectare estate facing north towards the majestic Umkomaas valley. The Retreat is considered to be in the top 10 meditation centres in the world that was founded over 40 years ago by Louis van Loon. The Centre is a refuge set in amazing beauty and offering retreats for persons wishing to learn more about the Buddhist philosophy, learn about the ancient techniques of meditation, attend a variety of mind enhancing lectures, or simply to escape the frenetic society we live in and free the mind. The Centre has a range of accommodation, walking trails, majestic gardens with the support facilities of a meditation room, studio, zen gardens, labyrinth and not to mention a large variety of birds, indigenous trees and views unparalleled. Whatever your religious convictions you will be welcomed with grace and warmth. The cherry on the cake is the full of flavour vegetarian meals for which they are renowned. Email:

IXOPO - Mariethal  Trappist Mission 512

Mariathal Trappist Mission, built by Francis Pfanner is about 5 kilometers north of Ixopo. The once vibrant missionnow functions essentially as a school with the mission providing the community with a gathering point.

Ixopo - Sacred Heart Convent

Ixopo Convent or Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood was established in 1923 and has been the base of the sisters ever since. The sisters continue to give pastoral care to disadvantaged members of the surrounding area, and the Convent is a training ground for new members. This album features the convent, church, and the extensive cemetery of former sisters.

Ixopo - St John's Anglican Church Cemetery

The St Johns Anglican Church in Ixopo has many of the graves of the early settlers in its Cemetery. This album features about 220 of the graves.

Kamberg - St Andrews Anglican Church.

"Like so many rural Anglican Churches, St Peter’s, situated in a rather remote area of Natal, under the shadow of the Drakensberg, was motivated by the demand of local faithful. St Peters was built on farmland donated by Henry Lang who also played a major role in its construction. The materials for the building were carted all the way from Rosetta siding by Arthur Ratsey. Built of stone under an iron roof, it remains a most attractive rustic church in the traditional English style. Funding was entirely through private donations by the locals. A small graveyard recalls the names of many donors. The most intriguing memorial is that of the Hamilton family which records Mary Hamilton, aged 10 months, was buried there in August 1911, Barbara Hamilton, aged 30 months, in April 1912, Noel Hamilton aged 6 months in June 1912, Jeannie Hamilton buried in June 1916 aged 7 months and Natalie Hamilton aged only 3 was interred in January 1918. There are no church records of the Hamiltons, their lives and tragedies remain a mystery". St Peter’s was consecrated in 1907 by Bishop Baines with a commencing congregation of 91. Ref: Anglican Meander : Anglicans in the KZN Midlands.

Kevelaer Trappist Mission - Donnybrook 357

Kevelaer Mission built in 1888 forms part of the satellite missions falling under the \"mother\" monastery in Marrianhill started by the Trappist Order. This album has images of the interior, exterior and some of the support buildings relating to this Mission which is on the outskirts of Donnybook.

King\'s Grant - St Isadore

St Isador\'s a former Trappist Monastry is now an accommodation venue known as Kings Grant. The gallery has images of the chapel, old Mill Museum, and the Brickwork (Murchison) barns where Dick King\'s daughter lived. The barns overlook the Schreiber dam built by Italian P.O.W.\'s in WWII. The venue can be booked for overnight stays, conferences or weddings. Also included is St Mary\'s Seminary which is now a health F.E.T centre. The centre has dormitories and a chapel linked on to the residential area.

Kokstad - St Patrick' s Cathedral  - 769

St Patrick's Cathedral at 107 Hope Street is the cathedral of the Diocese of Kokstad. In 1888 the Sisters of the Holy Cross arrived in Kokstad and started the Holy Cross School. A small chapel had been built in 1884 and with the growth of the town a new church was required. The Holy Cross Sisters did the fundraising for the new Church and the Foundation Stone was laid by father Adalbero Fleischer in 1924. Adalbero was one of the Trappists who then became part of the Mariannhill Missionaries. In 1952 Pope Pius XII created the Diocese of Kokstad and the church became a Cathedral with it's own Bishop. The Cathedral has many stained-glass windows, a side chapel and memorabilia including stations of the cross.

Lady of Our Lourdes - Westville -  806

Westville Catholic, Lady of Our Lourdes Church was blessed in 1959 and Consecrated in 1981 by Archbishop Denis Hurley. The church is richly blessed with many stained-glass windows.

Mariannhill - St Wendelins Mission

This album has images of the mission and associated structures. The Mission area had a turbulent history as this excerpt fro SA History Online illustrates. St Wendolins was situated about 14 km from Central Pinetown, on land owned by the Roman Catholic diocese of Mariannhill and individual African Plot Holders. The Wendolins Area was Settled by the Maphumulo and Mangangeni Ethnic Groups, before the Colonization by White people. The Mangengeni Community were Settled along the Umhlatuzana River in the Pinetown area. With the arrival of Missionaries, Chief Manzini asked the Missionaries to work with the Community, to teach them to Read and Write. In 1882 Father Franz Pfanner bought Zeekoegat, a Farm from the Natal Colonization Company and Mariannhill Mission, was Built on this land. The Church also brought surrounding Farms including an Adjacent Farm known as Klaarwater. It was on part of this Farm that the Community of St. Wendolins was Established. African Church Members, were allowed to Buy or Lease Land, at St Wendolins from the Mission. . In August 1957, St Wendolins Residents were astonished when plans for implementing the Group Areas Act, were announced in the Magisterial District, of Pinetown. The area West of the Umhlatuzana River was proclaimed as a Coloured group Area, with Klaarwater and St.Wendelin’s proclaimed, as an Area for Indian people. Land between the River and Pinetown, was declared White. This included the Monastery, Hospital and Convent. The African people that under Proclaimed Areas, had to Leave. In June 1970, Marianhill, Zeekoegat, Klaarwater and St Wendolins were incorporated into the Pinetown Municipal Area. Towards the end of 1970, Forced Removals commenced. In 1979, the Port Natal Administration Board(PNAB) issued all Tenants in St. Wendolins Ridge and Savannah to vacate their areas within a year. On 8 January 1980, the PNAB began demolishing their Houses. More people were Forcibly Removed to KwaNdengezi and KwaDabeka Townships, in the former KwaZulu Homeland. Excerpt with recognition to: Reference : South Africa History Online

Maria Linden Trappist Mission

Maria Linden was an outreach for Mariazell, further up the Ongeluksnek valley. The land granted by the local chief was built on in 1896 and completed in 1897, along with a school. The church was enlarged in 1990. At one stage the congregation was 1086. The enlargement comprised adding side aisles whilst retaining the original nave. Murals on the walls had to be carefully removed using special techniques under the guidance of Robert Brusse.

Maria Ratschitz - Dundee - Washbank

Maria Ratschitz Mission was established in 1889 by Trappist Monks. The church is also known as Church of our Lady of Sorrows.The Mission which now runs a hospice has recently been renovated. The Church has a tall bell & clock tower and the interior has ornate friezes and stain glass windows. Outside there are numerous religious murals and the finely illustrated twelve stations of the cross.

Maria Telgte Trappist Mission 1895

The site of this mission was on a 600 acres of land owned by farmer Reuben who due to financial difficulties agreed to sell the property to Brother Streicher . The present sandstone church was completed in 1909, and Yellowood from Lourdes was used in the construction. The mission is named after a German pilgrimage village near Munster. The mission was started in 1895 and in 1897 Sisters arrived to assist with the farming and school. The barn in this album for livestock and later a dairy below and a loft above, built in 1901. The boarding school was built in 1908 and are still used for this purpose.

Maria Trost Trappist Mission 1895

Maria Trost Mission was started in 1895 as an outstation between Oetting and Maris Stella. Named after a shrine in Graz, Austria, the present stone building is the third, built in 1934. The mission, started by the Trappists, has several substantial barns and residences. In the adjacent graveyard I found the solitary grave of Trooper Kenneth George Cooper of the Natal Mounted Police, who died on 10 October 1901. (See below)

Mariazell Trappist Mission 723

In 1893, Brother Nivard Streicher, using an agent bought three farms in the Ongeluksnek Valley. The brothers left Lourdes in 1894 to commence their work. Mariazell was named after a shrine in Europe. As was usual local stone was used for the school and a convent built in 1900. The present church was on constructed in 1916 and is unique in its beauty. The monastery was built in 1938. The workshops were built to take advantage of the plentiful water and to this day the water is gravity fed down to the turbines to supply power to the mission and the mill and workshops. Many of the old tools are still used in the workshop and the mill is still in good condition.

MIDDLERUS - St Mary's Anglican Church - Mount Pleasant Farm

A while ago I photographed the remains of this old church and wondered about its origins. Whilst visiting the Garrison Church in PMB, I met Earle Larson, who enlightened me and sent the old image of the church. (See below). Alongside are images I took and some of the few remaining graves. This church was built on the farm Mount Pleasant at a cost of 800 pounds, and consecrated on October 1903 by the Bishop of Natal, the Right Revered Samuel Baines. The locals had until that time worshiped at the Mooi River ,St Johns church, but wanted their own church closer to their own community. This small church of 90 square metres was nearly destroyed in a snow blizzard in in May 1905, bur rebuilt by August of the same year. St Mary’s was used until 1940, when it was closed down due to a diminishing congregation, and sold to a private farmer. Parts of the church were salvaged and used to build St Mary’s in Bruntville, and the font given to a church in Greytown. Ref: Earle Larson A few graves remain on the site and are shown here. The site was overgrown and more graves may exist.

Moorleigh - Empangweni Mission and Loskop - 634

This album has images of the Loskop Railway Station and trading stores, and the near-bye small industrial area. The main focus is however on the Empangweni - Moorleigh Mission, which was established in 1863 by Missionary Heinrich Kayser . The buildings shown here comprise The Mission Press (1909), St Johanneskirche (1908) and the Gnadenkirche (1911), which were built by these German Lutheran missionaries. The Mission is also the site of two schools and two cemeteries related to the two churches.

Mt Pleasant - Stead Family graves & Church

Mount Pleasant is located off the Richmond Road near Manderston and consists of an old trading store and a family church on a Farm called \"New Leeds\", belonging to the Stead family. The small church and family cemetery are unfortunately a little neglected. The farm was settled by Mathew & Mary Stead who came with the Byrne Settlers in 1850,but after 5 years moved on to New Leads from Byrne. The church and graveyard is testimony to the family and following generations including Thomas and Susan who came out in 1861,together with his father, Benjamin and brother Samuel. Other graves in the cemetery include those of the Thompson\'s,Cunningham\'s,Grist,Douglas and Pellews.

Mt Edgecombe Temples and Churches 813

This album has two Temples and a church in the Mount Edgecombe area in close proximity to the old sugar mill. Included are images of the St Joseph's Catholic Church, Shree Ganesha, Siva Soobramoniar and Shri Mariamenn Temples.

Mtwalume River - Highflats Church

This church overlooking the Mtwalume River and between Umzinto & Highflats has graves of many of the local families. Some of those buried here are from families such as the Chicks, Hamiltons, Arnotts, Ushers, Cross, Oldfield and Walkers.

NJANE - St Michaels Trappist Mission

St Michaels Trappist Mission is about 10 km north of the main Umzinto - Highflats road, at the village of Njane. This mission deep in the valley is one of the more than 20 Missions built by Francis Pfanner and his monks from Marrianhill. This particular mission has a school and two churches or monastries.

Otting Trappist Mission - Highflats

Otting Trappist Mission in southern Natal, near Highflats, is one of the many Mission Stations built by Francs Pfanner after he established Mariannhill Monastrty in1882. The Missions were set up so as to be no more than a one day horse ride in between. This album has images of the Mission Church, its outbuildings, grounds and of the interior of the Church.

Pinetown - Churches - St Johns & Christs Church Meller Road

This gallery has images of two old churches in Pinetown, namely Christ Church in Meller Road and Church of St John the Baptist in St Johns Road. The latter church has a large civilian and military graveyard. The military graves are in a separate album under the Military interest Gallery. The graves in St Johns include many of the old Pinetown families many of who\'s names are seen in the area. Some of the families are the Bousefields, Davidson\'s,Fields, Hill, Downs and Norgate. There are also images of the NGK in St Johns & Paynes avenue.

 Pinetown - Mariannhill Monastery - 226

The Mariannhill Monastery near Pinetown was established in 1882 by the Trappist Order of Monks led by Prior Wendelin (Francis) Pfanner and 31 volunteers. This Abbey was the \"mother\" of the 22 other Monasterys established around KZN , like Reichenau, Centocow and Lourdes. To give some idea of the size of Mariannhill, in 1906 it had 320 Monks and 275 sisters in its services. This gallery has images of the Cathedrals, churches, and all the support buildings built in the local red brick made on site. There is also the St Francis college and St Mary\'s hospital, workshops and tea garden. In the cemetery are also graves of soldiers who died in the Boer war hospital located here at the time.

PMB - St George's Garrison Church - 1898 - 625

Fort Napier was established as a garrison in 1843, and for many years utilized a makeshift church or their Drill Hall. Pressure was applied to build a church for the garrison, and a new church was duly designed by architects Methven and Pentland-Smith. In 1897 the foundation stone was laid by Mrs Cox, wife of the Commanding Officer of the troops, and the first service held on 9 October 1898. The name St Georges was used as St George is the patron saint of soldiers. The church nave is 94 ft by 44 ft, and the church built of Maritzburg red brick. The church was used as a hospital during the Boer War with 427 patients both from the forces and the nearby Concentration Camp. The church continued to be used by the military until 1914 when the last of the Imperial troops, the 1st South Staffordshires, departed for Ypres. Over the years the congregation declined as Fort Napier was converted to a mental hospital, and the downtown CBD lost its congregants. Local schools like Wykeham, and Maritzberg College continued to use the church until either building their own or relocating. The church has much memorabilia, seen in this gallery, including military related plaques, the hand carved pulpit, the sanctuary reredos commemorating the units who worshiped here, and the organ built by local organ builder William Kemp. One of the organists, Willie Poole was to play this organ for 71 years. Ref: T.B.(Jack) Frost - 1998 - St George's Garrison Church 1898 - 1998 - A Brief History.

PMB - Our Lady of Mercy Church

Named the Church of Madonna delle Gracie (Our Lady of Mercy), the tiny church in Epworth, Pietermaritzburg, built by Italian prisoners of war can accommodate about 50 worshippers. This marvel of engineering using limited materials fell into a state of disrepair before being restored. The first group of 5 000 Italian combatants captured by South African forces in East and North Africa arrived in the camp in 1941 and were at first housed in tents before being moved into wooden dormitories. Early in 1942 the camp chaplain, Padre Giacomo Conte, suggested that artisans among the prisoners should build a church in the camp grounds to relieve their boredom. The shale blocks had to be quarried 2km away, then hauled to the building site by human muscle-power using makeshift carts. The Italians began work on the church on February 2, 1942, after Sergeant Ottaviano Ariello, an architect, drew the plans and acted as building supervisor. It is only 17.3m long and 7.5m wide with a clock tower 9.5m high. The cornice over the main entrance bears the inscription: MATRI DIVINAE GRATIAE CAPTIVI ITALICI AD MCMXLIV. The ceremony of inauguration, consecration and a pontifical mass was performed on Sunday, March 19, 1944, by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Van Gijlswijk, when he officially named the building the Church of Madonna delle Grazie (Our Lady of Mercy). For the remaining months of the war, services were held regularly, but when the war ended the camp was disbanded, the prisoners were repatriated and the church stood alone by the roadside, forgotten and neglected. The building and a sculpted stone lion in the churchyard could be seen from the N3 highway and, in the 1950s and 1960s, it was often occupied by tramps and vagrants who vandalised the interior. Father Anton Dovigo was on holiday in South Africa from Italy in 1962 when he visited the diminutive church and was so shocked at its awful condition that he launched a fund for its restoration. Former prisoners in Italy and South Africa contributed to the fund and local builders donated their time and expertise for its restoration. A new bell was cast in Italy and sent free of charge to Durban. When it arrived in Epworth, former prisoner Salvatore Fardella, who helped build the church, installed the bell in the tower. One of the memorials in the cemetery of the Italian POW Church in Pietermaritzburg commemorates Italians who died when a German U-boat mistakenly sank a British troop carrier, the SS Nova Scotia, on November 28, 1942. The ship sailed from Massawa in Italian East Africa with 765 Italian prisoners-of-war, 134 British and South African soldiers and 110 crew. It was heading for Durban when it was torpedoed 40km off the Zululand coast and blew up within 10 minutes. Realising the submarine captain’s error, the German U-boat command notified the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique and a rescue ship was sent from Lourenco Marques (Maputo). The Alfonso du Albuquerque reached the scene next day, rescued 192 survivors and took them to Mozambique. An estimated 645 Italians died in the sinking, with many bodies washed onto Natal’s beaches. The remains of 120 victims were laid to rest in the Italian military cemetery in Hillary, Durban, before being re-interred in Pietermaritzburg in 2008. Ref: Sunday Tribune 23 Oct 2016 - Richard Rhys Jones.

Maris Stella Trappist Mission - Port Shepstone area

St Faiths - Maris Stella, to the North West of Port Shepstone is one of the many Trappist Missions established by Francis Pfanner in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This Mission comprises the chapel and also has a small school associated with it which was established in 1909. All of these Missions fell under the control of the "mother" mission established at Marrianhill.

Reichenau  Mission - Underberg

Riechenau Trappist Mission, near Underberg was established in 1886 as a daughter mission to the Marrianhill Monastery near Pinetown started by Abbot Francis Pfanner. The Mission is now a school catering for pupils from underprivileged homes. The Mission which is open to visitors(for a small fee ) has a functioning mill on the Polela River, boarding houses, formerly the Brothers and Sisters Convents, farm buildings, and a cemetery . The centrepiece is however the beautiful church, with ornate murals and stain glass windows.

RICHMOND - St Mary's Church & Graveyard

St Mary's Anglican Church was consecrated in 1856 and is the oldest Anglican Church in Natal. Many of the Byrne settlers brought out are buried in the cemetery. This album has many images of the church and of the graves in the cemetery.


Charles Johnson (1850 - 1927), built the St Augustine's Mission, where he operated as a doctor and dentist to the local Zulu communities. The foundation stone of the mission church was laid in 1898 by Bishop Carter but was delayed by the Boer War and completed in 1903 at a cost of GBP7000. The sandstone church has a nave of 100ft and 60ft wide, a chancel 60ft by 40ft and the clerestory held up by two rows of pillars, 32 feet in height.(Lee A.W. "Charles Johson of Zululand" 1930. Charles Johnson is buried within the walls of the church. A considerable number of structures were subsequently built that became accomodation, hospitals and places of leaning. Sadly most of the structures are derelict.

Umbilo - St Cyprians Anglican Church

St Cyprians Anglican Church founded in 1867 is presently in Umbilo Road. The church has majestic arches and many stain glass windows adding to its beauty. The interior has plaques commemorating the Soldiers who died in the Boer War from the Natal Naval Corps and commemorations to its past serving clergy. The Church was originally established in 1867 based in Pine Terrace which was to become Commercial Road. In 1877 the Foundation Stone was laid for the new Smith Street Church (410 - 416 Smith Street)on the site of the present day Hub. In 1939 the church moved to Congella and in 1940 the present Church was opened and the Parish Hall in 1954. The Garden of Remembrance was established in 1960.

Umzimkulu - Centocow Trappist Mission

Centocow (Czestochowa) was founded in 1888 by Abbot Francis Pfanner on the banks of the Umzimkulu River near Creighton, with funds donated by a Polish princess. Centocow formed one of the satellite missions under the umbrella of the Marrianhill Monastery. The first church was built in 1892 and is now a gallery & Museum. Due to the growth of the congregation a second church dedicated to the Sacred Heart was built, starting in October 1910 and completed in December 1913. In 1936 a hospital was built and named St Apollinaris named after the parish priest Father Apollinaris Schwamberger. Centocow in 1954 became part of the Umzimkulu diocese and the Marrianhill brothers and sisters left. This album has images of the Churches, residences, hospital and support structures built over the inter leading years.

Umzimkulu - Emaus Trappist Mission

Abbot Francis Pfanner who founded Marrianhill Mission in 1882, established Emaus Mission in 1884 and spent the last 15 years of his life here when he died in 1909. The house he built in 1904 and his life is commemorated on a plaque.

UMZIMKULU - Lourdes Trappist Mission

This Mission Station near Umzimkulu was also established in the 1880's by Abbot Francis Pfanner. Several hundred Brothers and Nuns worked at this mission station, but other than the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, the rest of the extensive structures lie derelict or burnt, including the school adjacent to the Mission. This album has images of most of the structures and the Cathedral which captures its sad state.

Umzimkulu - Maria Hilf Trappist Mission and B Dhlamini Church

This album has images of the Maria Hilf Trappist Mission established by Abbott Francis Pfanner and of a separate church in the area established by B Dhlamini in 1963. Abbott Pfanner was responsible for the establishment of the satellite Missions for Marrianhill near Pinetown.

KZN: A Photographic Historical Record

KZN: A Photographic Historical Record