Stellenbosch, Rhenish Chruch
Format Extent11 colour photographs
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Photographs and information on the bells of the Rhenish Church in Stellenbosch. The Rhenish Church in Stellenbosch has two bell towers, one on the northern side of the church and one on the eastern side of the church. The bell tower on the northern side has two Bochum bells the were gifts of the pupils of the Sunday school classes of the church in Lennep close to Baden in Germany. The bells date from 1908 and were first hanging in a wooden structure on top of each other. In 1926 Simon Cupido finished the construction of the horseshoe structure, designed by architect Walter Blersch, where the bells hang next to each other. Both bells were delivered through the Bochumer Initiative Südliches Africa (BISA) that was very active in the Western Cape. The bells hang up high and it is therefore hard to read the inscriptions especially in the bands at the top. Moreover corrosion, quite common with steel bells, has erased some of the decorations. The largest bell hanging on the left is much corroded so that the text in front is hardly readable. What we have recovered is the following: Below two moulding wires there are some almost unreadable inscriptions. The front side is unreadable. On the waist on the rear we could read GESCHENKT VON MISSIONSFREUNDEN IN VORWINKEL HERZKAMP, SCOWRLM N. LANGERBELD. On the other side of the bell there is the inscription … AND, LAND HÖRE DES HERRN WORT … Jer. 22.29. The second and smaller steel bell from the Bochumer Verein hangs on the right. Again two moulding wires under which we could decipher on the front side …ALLE LANDEN SIND SEINER EHRE ... Jes. 6.3. and again two moulding wires. On the rear side we found GESCHENKT VON DEN SONNTAGES SCHUHLKINDERN DER KREISSYNODE GLADBACH. In the bell tower on the eastern side we found a bell that is historic in all respects. However, it seems incredibly hard to get a close look at the bell. The band with inscriptions, within two pretty bands of leafs, runs below the shoulder and all along the bell. Too bad the band has been painted black. The only text that we currently can read is ... IOHAN ... ME FECIT ... TU?RS? ... Thanks to strong binoculars we have been able to read that the bell was cast in 1664. This means that for the time being, this bell is the oldest in the Western Cape, older than the 1697 bell in the Cape Town Castle. The clapper has been removed. This happened after the two Bochum bells were installed in their new structure. Unfortunately we are still unable to determine who has cast the bell, except that his first name was Iohan (Johan). Due to its incredible height, one needs special ladders to reach the bell to discover further information on the name of the founder.
- Stellenbosch