The Schreiner House at No. 9 Cross Street is one of Cradock's most interesting and attractive old buildings. From 1868 until 1870 it was home to Olive Schreiner, the world-renowned author and human rights activist, and three of her siblings.
Her elder brother Theo was principal of the Government Aided School in Cradock at the time. The other two were her elder sister Henrietta and her younger brother Will, later to succeed Cecil Rhodes as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
In the Schreiner House are Olive's personal library, exhibitions depicting her life and those of her siblings and copies of all the books she wrote.
The bookshop at the Schreiner House sells a wide variety of books, including Schreiner's most celebrated work, The Story of an African Farm, as well as other books by and about her.
A pictorial display of her life can be seen in the house.
The exhibitions which have been in the House since it was opened in 1986 have been totally scrapped and an exciting new set was erected in time for the 2014 'Schreiner: Karoo Writers Festival'.
In the Ikhamanga Hall, which forms part of the Schreiner House property, there is yet another new exhibition titled '200 000 Years of History; 200 Years of Cradock; and 20 Years of Democracy'.
Schreiner house was bought by A.A. Mutual life and subsequently restored as a joint project with the town council of Cradock. It was then donated to the National English Literary Museum (NELM). It is a declared Heritage Site.
Opening hours: Mondays – Fridays: 08:00 – 12:45 and 14:00 – 16:30
The museum offers a literary and /or a historical walking tour of Old Cradock. The tour is a kilometre in length and at an easy pace with stops takes an hour. The cost for the tour is R50 per adult with kids going for free. A 35-page, illustrated guide book is also available at R50,00.
GPS: 32°10'24.0"S / 25°37'04.4"E
Coming in from Port Elizabeth on the N10 take the first turn left into Cross Street and proceed right to the bottom of the hill. Schreiner House is on the left.
From Middelburg and Colesberg turn right into the main thoroughfare – Calata Street – and continue through two stops to turn right into Cross Street.
On the R390 from Hofmeyr and Steynsberg turn right at the first stop and proceed down Ziervogel and Deary Streets to link with Calata Street.