Bishop Twells of Bloemfontein purchased the farms Modderpoort and Modderpoort Spruit in 1865 as a base for missionary work in the area. The property was situated within the so-called ‘Conquered Territory’ lost by the BaSotho through conquest in the years 1843-1869. It was in fact not before 1869 that Canon Henry Beckett, the Superior of the Society of St Augustine, accompanied by four brothers, set up the mission, initially in a cave converted as church and dwelling.