Olive Schreiner House in Cradock, Oos-Kaap
The Olive Schreiner House is the small town of Cradock’s most popular Museum. Here, the history of Olive Schreiner and her siblings is shown in various exhibits in one of the town’s most interesting and attractive buildings.
The town of Cradock lies in the heartland of the Karoo and visitors are generally attracted to this part of the Eastern Cape for the unique scenery and its history. The Schreiner House is just such an attraction it was the home of Olive Schreiner and three of her siblings between 1868 and 1870. Olive Schreiner was a world-renowned author and human rights activist, her eldest brother, Theo was the Principal at the Government Aided School in Cradock at the time and at the same time her younger brother became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
Olive wrote the very well-known book, “The Story of an African Farm”, which was published in 1883 and soon afterwards became a best seller. It also created heavy debates over its interpretation of various themes such as feminism, transvestitism, free thought as well as pregnancy and relationships before marriage.
The Schreiner House Museum has been declared a National Monument and houses all of Olive’s written work as well as her private collection of books. The Museum opened in 1986, but all exhibits were upgraded in 2014 for the “Schreiner: Karoo Writer’s Festival”.
This is a fascinating Museum that is not to be missed when visiting Cradock or surrounding areas.
Things to do and see
- Olive Schreiner’s Personal Library
- Exhibit on Olive Schreiner & her siblings
- Copies of all Olive Schreiner’s books
- Pictorial Display of Olive’s life history
- Ikhamanga Hall: - Exhibition “200 000 years of History, 200 Years of Cradock & 20 years of Democracy”
- Book Shop, with all Olive’s books on sale
- Literary and/or Historical Walking Tour through Cradock
There is no admission fee, however donations are appreciated.
From Middelburg, travel along N10 and when reaching Cradock, turn right into the main thoroughfare, Calata/Stockenstroom Street. Continue through two stops and then turn right into Cross Street.
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