The first Dutch Reformed congregation (and also the first church) in Cradock was established back in 1824, 10 years after the town received its name. The present Dutch Reformed Mother Church building, situated on the upper end of Church Street, was completed on the original site as the first church in 1868 at an apparent cost of some £24,500. The building’s design was based on St. Martins-in-the-Field on Trafalgar Square in London.
At the opening ceremony, the builder refused to hand over the door keys as he hadn’t been paid for everything owned to him. Appeals went out to those in attendance and an amount of money was raised on the spot, enough to satisfy the builder. During the Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902) the church roof was used as a lookout post by the British troops who garrisoned the town, as it was the highest spot in town.
Paul Kruger, who went on to become the President of the Transvaal Republic, was born on a farm near Bulhoek south of Queenstown in 1826 and was christened (by a Welsh pastor) in the original church. His name appears in the register.