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History of Paarl

The Paarl Museum is housed in the Oude Pastorie (Old Parsonage) which is situated on the original farm granted to Pieter Janz van Marseveen by Govenor Willem Adriaan van der Stel in February 1699.

The Parsonage was built for the Dutch Reformed Congregation of Drakenstein, now known as Paarl, in 1714. Between 1715 and 1872, the Thatched Roofed Church was home to eleven Ministers and between 1786 and 1787 it was demolished, because of its neglected condition, and rebuilt partly with the original buildings material. The building is a typical U-Shaped Dutch styled house.

In 1872, the building was bought by the Thom family who lived here until 1924, after which it was used as a hostel for boys attending the Paarl Gymnasium High School. The Town Council purchased and renovated the building in 1939 and opened the Huguenot Museum. The name changed in 1969 to the Old Parsonage Museum and again in 1995 to the Paarl Museum with its current theme of “History of Paarl”.

The town of Paarl and the Museum building itself have a rich cultural history and this quaint and charming Museum is able to provide a wonderful collection of documents, Cape artifacts, furniture and other antiques representing the collective heritage and development of Paarl.

Things to do and see

  • Collection of Cape Dutch Antiques
  • Silverware & Kitchen Utensils
  • Historical Documents & Artefacts
  • Photograph Collection of Paarl
  • Reconstructed Old Parsonage
  • Temporary Exhibitions held during the year


The Admission Fee for Adults is currently R5. Children, Students and Pensioners are free, but donations are welcomed. Prices are subject to change, please contact the Museum directly to confirm pricing.

Find Us

The Museum is situated behind the Dutch Reformed Church, in the parking lot, on Main Road. The entrance is to the left of the Church grounds.

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