In 1835 Dr John Atherstone, the most prominent among Grahamstown's first medical practitioners, bought the property.  Formerly resident surgeon at Guy's Hospital in London, Dr Atherstone emigrated to South Africa in 1820 and initially left the Albany district, of which Grahamstown formed the centre, to practise in Cape Town.  He returned in 1828 to accept the post of District Surgeon in Grahamstown.

 

He was later somewhat overshadowed by his celebrated son, William Guybon, noted for authenticating South Africa's first diamond.  Details of this discovery form part of the display at The Observatory Museum in Bathurst Street.

During Atherstone's tenure, we believe the stable (now rooms 1 and 2) was used as a grain store for Gradwell's Mill, situated on the opposite corner of George and Market Streets and illustrated in Francis Dashwood’s 1876 painting in the entrance hall.  We found an old trap door half way up the George Street wall of the stable which would have served as the inlet for the grain.

Best wishes to an institution whose staff is highly professional.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa, June 1999
Excellent service by a highly professional staff.
Nelson Mandela, Plein St, Johannesburg, Nov 1992
This is a lovely and cosy place. People are all warm-hearted and available to help. Thank you for your hospitality!
Anbin shi & Qing’an Zhou, Beijing, China, Sep 2012