gracht, noun

DutchShow more Dutch, canal; ditch, moat.
In Cape Town: a. Obsolete except in historical contexts. A canal. b. An element in street names. Also attributive.
1823 W.W. Bird State of Cape of G.H. 149Leaving the commercial Exchange, the heeregracht (Anglicè the gentlemen’s ditch) presents itself, leading towards the public offices and the government gardens.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 12The streets lay almost due north and south, east and west, at as regular intervals as though scored with a ruler: the Heerengracht, Keisersgracht, Tuin Straat,..with their comfortable, roomy dwellings and hospitable high stoeps.
1926 P.W. Laidler Tavern of Ocean 99Cape Town — beautiful when seen from the sea, but ashore — behold,..grachts stagnant and stinking, full of household refuse..along which at intervals a great part of the town sewage flowed to the sea...The grachts were the towns’ only drainage scheme.
1926 P.W. Laidler Tavern of Ocean 183The road nearest to the jetty and the Castle naturally became the most important, and the name Heeren was transferred to it; and, as was the habit in Holland, where more prominence was given to the canal, than to the street alongside, the suffix gracht was added, and it became the Heerengracht.
1965 A. Gordon-Brown S. Afr. Heritage I. 13‘The Cape’ had now become ‘Cape Town’; and a pleasant town it was with oak-lined streets and rivulets — ‘grachts’ — running along them.
1969 D. Child Yesterday’s Children 34Fire-wardens and citizens ran to help put out the flames, using buckets of water from the grachts or open water channels along the sides or down the middle of the streets.
1975 S. Afr. Panorama Nov. 25Museum staff..saw an old gracht (water canal) wall and later sluice gates. These date back to 1661.
1979 Cape Times 20 Dec. 7Relics of the Dutch occupation, when Cape Town was criss-crossed by a network of canals, or grachts, are to be incorporated in a..City Council plan.
A canal.
An element in street names.

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