Clumber Church of 1867 ( The Third Built on this Site)

Clumber Church and Clumber School atop Mount Mercy


Standing atop a knoll in the vale of Clumber, named Mount Mercy by the Nottingham Party of the British Settlers to South Africa in 1820, is the Clumber Church, the third Church the 1820 Settlers  and their descendants built at this spot, and opened on 10 November 1867.
Still in use today with a Service held on the fourth Sunday of the month at 11h00, the Clumber Church faces difficult times due to the depopulation of the countryside. Once a thriving social gathering place, it boasted a school, teachers home, manse, a hall used for social occasions as well as Sunday School teaching, a cricket field, tennis courts and clubhouse. Now all that remains is the Church opened in 1867, and the school building; dating from 1905. Both the School and the Church were declared National Monuments on 23 November 1980.

GPS Coordinates:
S 33 deg 27'04.299
E 26 deg 51'08.965

From Port Alfred travel on the R67 to Bathurst. Continue from Bathurst for 3km on the R67 to Grahamstown. Clumber Church road signs will direct you where to turn right onto the Shaw Park Road. Continue for 2 KM and turn left to Martindale, again the Clumber Church directional road sign will guide you. 1 KM from this turn off, at the bottom of the hill, lies Clumber Church, on the right. 

 Mount Mercy

Mount Mercy is a small hill situated in a valley between Bathurst and Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape.This knoll has been central to the Nottingham Party of 1820 Settlers and the subsequent Clumber Community as a place of gathering, schooling and worship. And it was here, at the foot of Mount Mercy, on July 25 1820, that the Nottingham Party offloaded their belongings from the wagons and carts that had transported them on their journey from Algoa Bay. The last leg of their long journey which had seen them leave Nottingham and board the vessel Albury in Liverpool in mid January 1820. Their final destination in a land which for them meant new beginnings. 

The Clumber Church is situated on the crown of Mount Mercy, so called by the Nottingham Party of 1820 Settlers because of their safe arrival after a journey which started in Nottingham in England to their final destination here of just under 7 months. They held a Service of Thanksgiving on Mount Mercy on the day of their arrival on July 25 1820. Services were then held under the trees at John Bradfield's home close by, as well as the home of William Pike in inclement weather until the first Clumber Church was built at Mount Mercy and opened on September 28 1825. When the entire Nottingham Party at Clumber had to abandon the area during the 6th Frontier War, the first Clumber Church, being abandoned, was entered by the invaders. So, it was decided that a second Church be built, also on Mount Mercy. This second Clumber Church was operational by 1837. After seeing through the 7th Frontier War, or War of the Axe, in 1846 as well as the 8th Frontier War of 1850, and the Church being in a poor state, it was decided to build a third Clumber Church, the current, also on Mount Mercy. This third Clumber Church was opened in 1867.  So, whilst the Clumber Church celebrated its 150th year in 2017, the Word of God has been proclaimed here at Mount Mercy from July 25 1820.

Mount Mercy Resounded with Music during the 

150th Anniversary Celebrations

October 20,21,22 2017


 The Heritage Buildings on the Clumber Precinct 

The Clumber Church and Clumber School on the Clumber Precinct were proclaimed National Monuments on 23 November 1980. The South African Heritage Resource Agency which has superseded this organization has granted this Complex Heritage status.SAHRA Site Identification:29463 SAHRA Identifier Number : 9/2/009/0014
Re-assembling the Steeple 2016
Created by Courteney George Bradfield