Colesberg is a town with 17,354 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, located on the main road from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
In a sheep-farming area spread over half-a-million hectares, greater Colesberg breeds many of the country’s top merinos. It is also renowned for producing high-quality racehorses and many stud farms, including one owned by legendary golfer, Gary Player, are nearby.
Founded in 1830 on an abandoned station of the London Missionary Society, it was named after Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, then Governor of the Cape Colony. The site of the town lay on one of the well-travelled routes used by traders, hunters and explorers to gain access to the interior. Towerberg or Coleskop is a prominent hill near the town and a landmark easily seen from a distance by travellers. Colesberg saw a large number of battles and skirmishes during the second Anglo-Boer War, and the Colesberg Garden of Remembrance is located just outside the town.
A number of 1820 Settlers established farms in the Colesberg district. Outnumbered as a religious group, some attended the Methodist Church and others the Dutch Reformed Church, where services in English were specially held for them. Anglican officials in Cape Town appointed Dr CEH Orpen as Rector and the first services were conducted in the Court House and the London Mission Chapel, which became known as St Stephen's Church. In 1852 the construction of the Anglican Christ Church was started, having been designed by Sophy Gray, wife of the Cape Town bishop Robert Gray.
The town boasts many buildings that were built in a blend of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture with ceilings of reed, and yellowwood timbers, and others that display a range of designs reflecting the changes of 19th century building. Originally plots were pegged out and sold on the site of the town to fund the building of the Dutch Reformed church.