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The Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum

The Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum

The early 1900s saw many calls for a museum in the town of Kimberly but nothing was done about it until the 24th September 1907 when the title deeds were handed over to the Management Committee and the McGregor Museum was officially founded. The original building in Chapel Street was donated to the people of Kimberly by Mrs Margaret McGregor, in memory of her late husband, Alexander McGregor, a diamond pioneer and mayor of Kimberley in 1886. Miss Maria Wilman was the first curator of the museum from 1908 and during her nearly forty years that she was in charge of the museum, she developed it into one of the most important in South Africa. The official title was to be the Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum but over the last one hundred years it has been known by locals simply as the McGregor.

There are some major changes happening at the museum and it will soon be changing its name to the Kimberley History Museum. It will house a Kimberley timeline which will show the history of the town as well as major points of historical importance. The museum will bring a fresh look at the "Forgotten Suburbs", such as Greenpoint, Galeshewe and the historic Malay Camp, which was a site of forced removal.

The attractive brick building with its intricate facade was designed by Architect F Carstairs Rogers and displays the strong British styling which was the style in which most public buildings were built in during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The building is flanked by the Methodist Church and Manse and is one of the last remaining urban groupings from Kimberleys past. The two reclining female figures on the pediment were sculpted by an Italian sculptor, Achille Bocciarelli who was also the owner of local brickworks.

In 1973 the museum staff and collections moved to a larger premises in the old Kimberley Sanatorium which was also a historically recognised building even though plans had been drawn up for a new museum building. Although the museum moved its headquarters to the Sanatorium, the original building in Chapel Street is still open, as a satellite museum, to the public from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 but is closed on weekends and public holidays.

Today the McGregor is the central museum for a number of satellite museums, these include the:

McGregor Memorial Museum
The Duggan-Cronin Gallery
Dunluce
Rudd House
The Magersfontein Battlefield The Pioneers of Aviation
Wildebeest Kuil
Wonderwerk Caves.
This museum and its satellites cover the areas of anthropology, archaeology, botany, design, history and zoology among others.
McGregor Museum in Atlas Street is open from Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00, on Sundays from 14:00 to 17:00 and on Public Holidays from 10:00 to 17:00

For more information please contact:
McGregor Museum
Tel: +27-53-8392700
Fax: +27-53-8421433
For tour bookings:
Tel: +27-53-8392717

Physical Address
5 Atlas Street
Belgravia
Kimberley

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