On our first day in Graaff Reinet we launched ourselves into The Graaff Reinet Museum which is housed in four historic buildings: Reinet House, Urquhart House, The Old Library, and The Old Residency. Reinet House, built in 1812 on an H-plan, was the Dutch Reformed Church Vicarage until 1904. It then served as a boarding school, and a residence for a training college before restoration as a museum in 1956.
Reinet House is furnished with beautiful stinkwood and yellowwood furniture – wonderfully rich-coloured woods used to make furniture in entirely appropriate proportions for the large rooms with their high ceilings. (No photographs permitted inside the museum.)
The Rev Andrew Murray from Aberdeenshire lived in the parsonage and was the Minister in the Dutch Reformed Church from 1822 to his death in 1866. His son Charles succeeded him as Minister and in 1870 planted the Black Acorn Vine in the back garden – apparently the oldest existing grapevine in South Africa.
In 1973-74 a Wagon House was built behind Reinet House.
The functioning Mill House was completed in 1978.
And then it was time for refreshment – homemade ginger beer and lemon meringue tart – delicious! I resolved to make ginger beer again in the summer – I had forgotten how good it tasted.