The lot on which this double-story building stands was originally part of the farm Melkhoutkraal bought on the death of George Rex by John Sutherland who in turn sold it to Maria Stroebel in 1860.
This building was hired by the Colonial Office, from Hendrik Stroebel, and used as Government Offices and as a Courthouse by Knysna’s first magistrate, James Fichat (until the early 1880’s when Magistrate Jackson moved to what is now the Police Station in Main Street). The building then became the Residency for Magistrate Jackson.
The Standard Bank opened its first branch here, hiring one room at L2 per month in September 1881 before relocating to “Melvilles” in 1882.
It was bought in 1902 by Thomas Horn of the Royal Hotel as an annex before being sold in 1930 to the Catholic Church. The German-born Nuns of the Pallotine Order lived in this convent and had a Primary School for Coloured children here.