The granary building has had many uses in its 200 years of existence. As a prison, its inmates spent most their days doing washing and sewing. When white preference came into being more white women were imported on the Gentoo ship to marry officials and burghers. Many were forced into sex work and thievery upon arrival. One Irish inmate, Mary Cowrie, charged with theft, describes the prison as ‘a den of infamy’. Along with slaves, these inmates were also used as washerwomen for the Company. A washerwomen route can be traced up Buitenkant Street.

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