Chrissiesmeer – Old Jail

The buildings first cell was already built before 1887, because the oldest photographs of the town were taken in that year and the first cell is clearly visible in the photograph on examination the outside walls of the building clearly show that the second cell was built later.

The cells were built at the same period as the inn on the opposite side of the street. Chrissiesmeer was on the link routes between the road to the Witwatersrand and Natal and the road from the Rand and the diggings at Pilgrim’s rest, Lydenburg, Barberton, and Algoa Bay. The Inn did good business with mail-coaches and fortune seekers travelling by horse or on foot and we presume that the prison cell was mostly occupied by men who drank too much or who were involved in fights.

In front of the cells the foundation of single offices and buildings are visible. Early in the century they just like the link routes through the town, were in use after the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand. On the adjuring stand, where there is evidently still half a wall, was at one stage, also offices, possibly also a house and a charge office. It seemingly burnt down and was never in use again.

The substantial old stone cells survived the time and were converted into a special guesthouse for the owner, a professor attached to the Vista University in Pretoria. The cells are bedrooms and the corrugated charge office were changed into a living room / dining room, a kitchen and a bathroom.