Once serving as a Trappist monk sanctuary this wonderful age-old facility is slowly being restored to its original glory by the wonderful Cheryl Biggs and her team of supporters at Kings Grant in Ixopo in the KwaZulu Natal midlands.

Following the 48th chapter of the Rule of St Benedict Trappist monks were required to live only by the spoils of their own hands so they had to make everything that they themselves used or consumed. The chapel and surrounding buildings on the farm all enabled the monks to live a self-sufficient lifestyle praying, farming, milling wheat into flour and even producing the very bricks with which they constructed their own buildings.

The weather was quite dreadful on our brief visit here to shoot the next installment of Safintra’s ‘Great South African Architecture’ campaign so the only way to really shoot in the dull flat light we had was to process in high-contrast black-and-white. Somehow it seemed fitting anyway given the spectacular history of this wonderful place…?