Lady Grey is a town at the foot of the Witteberge, 63 km east of Aliwal North and 93 km north-west of Barkly East. It was founded in 1858 on the farm Waaihoek and attained municipal status in October 1893. Named after the wife of Sir George Grey (1812-1898), Governor of the Cape Colony from 1854 to 1859.
Lady Grey falls under the Senqu Local Municipality which is a Category B municipality situated in the Joe Gqabi District in the Eastern Cape Province. It is bordered by Lesotho in the north, the Chris Hani District in the south, Elundini in the east, and Walter Sisulu in the west.
The municipality is one of three in the district, accounting for a third of its geographical area. It represents the amalgamation and integration that took place between the former municipalities of Lady Grey, Barkly East, Sterkspruit, Rossouw and Rhodes.
Area: 7 329km²
Cities/Towns: Towns in the same municipal area are Barkly East, Rhodes, Rossouw and Sterkspruit
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Visit Lady Grey
Located on Route 58 (R58) tucked away in a valley below the Witteberg mountains, Lady Grey is a beautiful little rural village. Surrounded by majestic mountains, fresh clean air and gentle streams. You will also find a number of charming accommodation facilities provide a comfortable retreat for the weary traveler. Old buildings have been restored to attract tourists and those wanting to relocate.
In cooperation with the Senqu Tourism, the local Lady Grey Tourism Association markets Lady Grey town, the farm areas as well as the townships, Khwezi Naledi and Transwilger as tourism destinations and promotes and encourages the support of local initiative. When considering the size of the community, one is amazed at the diverse skill set and wide variety of services and products offered that caters for almost every need.
Plan your excursions in advance and arrange with the relevant person or organisation to avoid disappointment.
Guides are available to explore the village and Anglo Boer war sites, alpine vegetation and geology of the area. Set a day aside, take a picnic basket, and visit the Cape Vulture Sanctuary, the historic rail reverses that made it possible for steam trains to negotiate the extremely steep terrain between Lady Grey and Barkly East, and the tunnel that was never used.
Places of Interest
OLD POST OFFICE, COURT HOUSE AND GAOL
These buildings were built and occupied in 1889. It was the third Post and Telegraph Office and consisted of a Court room 45 x 20 feet, Magistrate’s room 12 x 12 feet, a Clerk’s room (portion of Court House partitioned off), Post Office 30 x 15 feet, and Gaol or Lock-up (Gaol) (detached and facing Botha Street) with Lock-up-keeper’s quarters. The buildings were leased by the Government in 1890 at a rental of £120 p.a. The buildings were vacated on 30 June 1923 and the new Post Office and Magistrates Court on the Market Square were occupied in July 1923.
When the Perdedam was built, many people in town had horses and other farm animals. Visitors also travelled by horse. These animals were taken to the dam to drink water, hence the name Paardedam, which changed in time to Perdedam. The dam was also used for irrigation purposes. Water-furrows, laid out with flat sandstone, led water from the Perdedam to orchards and vegetable gardens in town. Blue Gill fish were often caught at the Perdedam and later Carp were introduced.
OLD METHODIST CHURCH
This little church was sold a few years ago when the small congregation could no longer be supported by the Methodist Church in Aliwal North. Inside, the church is pleasingly simple with twenty-two solid oak pews and a wide central aisle leading to the pulpit. Facing the congregation is a very grand pedal organ with an array of purely ornamental organ pipes. The organ is still fully functional. This building was an impressive addition to Lady Grey with its copper sheeting roof and central heating for the cold winters. Hot air ducts were built into the walls to discharge warm air through vents close to the floor. The building can be used as a cultural centre for music and choral recitals, play readings and art exhibitions.
The old cemetery boasts some interesting and beautiful Carrara marble tomb-stones/sculptures while the messages inscribed on the stones offer an invaluable insight into the history of Lady Grey. Visiting the old Cemetery is like reading a book about by-gone people with many interesting characters who lived in the village.
Key Statistics 2011
|Working Age (15-64)||66,5%|
|Population density||59 persons/km2|
|No schooling aged 20+||4,4%|
|Higher education aged 20+||15,4%|
|Matric aged 20+||26,4%|
|Number of households||356|
|Average household size||3,2|
|Female headed households||42,1%|
|Housing owned/paying off||65,7%|
|Flush toilet connected to sewerage||96,3%|
|Weekly refuse removal||99,2%|
|Piped water inside dwelling||76,7%|
|Electricity for lighting||96,9%|