Monday

Niamkolo Church, The oldest Stone Church in Zambia

Niamkolo Church
About two kilometres east of the town of Mpulungu is Niamkolo Church, this Church has been said to be the oldest stone Church in Zambia. It was built in 1895 by the London Missionary Society. It all started with James Swan of the London Missionary in May, 1893 when he negotiated to purchase some land at the Niamkolo and a mission was established there. The fifteen meter tower was a landmark for boats using the port of Mpulungu.

Two years later, the building was taken over by Adam Purves who had joined the mission as an industrial helper and a teacher, it is also said that Adam might have been the architect. There is the main hall an a three-storey tower. The walls' thickness comprises of two thin skins of roughly dressed sandstone quarried on the mission estate, with mud or ant-hill bonding. The gap between the the skins were filled with rubbie. In 1908 the mission decided to move inland due to the high incidence of sleeping sickness and the church fell into disuse and decay.

For half a century after the Niamkolo Church was deserted, the upper part of the building crumbled and fell.

In 1954, the Church's preservation was needed and this prompted some action from the London Missionary Society who handed the church over to the National Monuments Commission. The Niamkolo Church was declared a National Monument in April, 1955. Preservation work was carried away.

"What a significant piece of history, this Church will sure stand time for the next and the next generation to see it. A true National Monument".

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