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The sights during the original diamond rush of up to 30 000 miners working 3600 claims have long gone but memories of the Kimberley tent-town's glory days still linger. Many old buildings, museums and one of South Africa's most important art galleries lend an historic ambience to the modern city.
The romantic Belgravia walk
Savour Kimberley's magnificent and romantic past by spending a few hours on a historical walk in the most beautiful and historical suburb of Belgravia. This circular walk covers a distance of some two kilometres and leads the visitor to 33 of the City's most historical sites. During the walk, old Kimberley's opulent lifestyle and its characteristic architecture will be revealed and famous monuments will be visited. The McGregor Museum in Atlas Street sells a Belgravia Historical Guide Book.
  • 1 McGregor Museum - Starting point
  • 2 No 3 Egerton Road - Former home of architect DW Greatbatch
  • 3 Halfway House - Site of the world's first drive-in pub
  • 4 No 9 Egerton Road - Designed by DW Greatbatch in 1897 for Arend Brink, diamond broker and valuator
  • 5 No 22 Elsmere Road - For more than 50 years the home of HA Morris, an honoured citizen. His sister-in-law, the artist Olive McIntyre, lived here from 1917 to 1990
  • 6 Girls' High School - Founded in 1887
  • 7 No 18 Elsmere Road - Russell Elliot, an honoured citizen, lived here for many years
  • 8 The houses of Colonel Sir David Harris - Built for the 'genteel poor'
  • 9 St Patrick's, a Christian Brothers' College - Founded in 1897
  • 10 Nazareth House - Established in 1888 for the care of the old as well as orphans irrespective of creed or country. Now part of St Patrick's.
  • 11 George and Dragon Pub Restaurant - Site of William Gasson's pharmacy
  • 12 Sister Henrietta Nursing College
  • 13 Battle of Square Hill Memorial (Cape Corps)
  • 13 The memorial plaque to Major General Sir Henry Timson Lukin, which was unveiled in 1936
  • 13 Cenotaph World War I & II - Designed by William Timlin and erected in honour of the 400 men killed during the First World War
  • 14 Masonic Temple - Erected in 1888/89 by the combined lodges which at present own and occupy it
  • 15 Statue of Sister Henrietta Stockdale
  • 16 The Cathedral Church of St Cyprian the Martyr was elevated to cathedral status on 30 June 1912 and Kimberley became a city
  • 17 Statue of Cecil John Rhodes - Erected by public subscription in 1907
  • 18 Bust of Colonel Sir David Harris - Honorary Colonel of the Kimberley Regiment, erected in 1930
  • 19 The Drill Hall, Kimberley Regiment - Originally the art gallery of the South African and International Exhibition, 1892
  • 20 Violet Bank - Originally erected at the turn of the 20th century. Rebuilt in the 1990s
  • 21 Queen's Park - Founded in 1874, the original Kimberley Public Gardens were renamed to mark the coronation of Elizabeth II
  • 22 Rudd House, No 5-7 Loch Road - Home of HP Rudd, originally known as The Bungalow
  • 23 Cape Police Memorial - At its base is the gun captured in 1900 from the Boers at Dronfield. Unveiled in 1904
  • 24 Site of Belgravia Mine, c 1896
  • 25 No 7 Lodge Road - Built in 1906/07 for Ernest Oppenheimer
  • 26 No 11 Lodge Road - The house Wilfred Soloman Harris built for his English bride
  • 27 No 10 Lodge Road, Dunluce - Erected in 1897 for Gustave Bonas and sold to John Orr in 1902
  • 28 No 13 Lodge Road, The Grange - Built in 1898 and the home of F Hirschhorn from 1905 to 1930
  • 29 Duggan-Cronin Gallery - The Lodge was erected in 1888 for JB Currey, manager of the London and South African Exploration Company
  • 30 Alex Hall Memorial Gardens

  • The Great Kimberley north walk
    Another great historical walk covering the city centre and the area to the north of the city centre. More than forty enchanting and notable historic sites and streets, including the Executioner's Yard and Stockdale Street, are encountered on the route. The walk starts and ends at one of Kimberley's oldest hotels, the Savoy, and covers a distance of just under four kilometres. The McGregor Museum sells a Great Kimberley North Walk Guide Book.

  • 1 Savoy Hotel - Starting point. Opened on 1 September 1892
  • 2 Siege Buildings - Built by George Church
  • 3 Traffic Lights - First traffic lights in Kimberley. Erected in October 1947
  • 4 Market Square - Trading centre of the Kimberley diamond diggings from 1871
  • 5 The Market Shelter (aka The Market House) - Legend has it that the structure was delivered to the wrong Kimberley
  • 6 The Kimberley City Hall - Opened on 20 September 1899
  • 7 Electric Street Lights - First in the southern hemisphere, 1882
  • 8 1890 Pioneer Memorial - Constructed of Matopo rocks with the pattern resembling the burial place of Cecil Rhodes, commemorating the departure of the Rhodesian pioneers
  • 9 The Kimberley Tram
  • 10 Standard Bank (No 10 Old Main Road) - Built in 1922
  • 11 Consolidated Buildings 1926 - Diamonds were sorted here until 1974
  • 12 Diamond Fields Advertiser - The second home for Kimberley's premier daily newspaper. Until 1998 it was used by the Red Cross Society
  • 13 De Beers Benefit Society Building - Designed by DW Greatbatch
  • 14 De Beers Head Office - Originally the Head Office of Barney Barnato's Kimberley Central Diamond Mining Company
  • 15 The Stables - Converted into garages for De Beers' fleet of cars
  • 16 Site of The Grand Hotel
  • 17 Griqualand West Supreme Court - Built of blue dolerite by convicts
  • 18 Executioner's Yard - Murderers were executed here in the 1870s and 1880s
  • 19 The Transvaal Road Police Station - The 6th Floor was most notorious during the apartheid years, where Phakamile Mabija died in 1977
  • 20 Police Memorial (Outside police station) - Tribute to 75 years 'of excellent service' (1913- 1988)
  • 21 Pioneer Cemetery - Gate donated in memory of Sir Joseph B Robinson's daughter buried within
  • 22 No 9 Tapscott Street - Built by George Church as a wedding gift to his son
  • 23 No 22 Tapscott Street - Murderess Daisy De Melker lived here when visiting her sister
  • 24 No 25 Goodwin Street - Built in 1900 for the chemist WH Helmore
  • 25 No 19 Carr Street - Built in 1897 and is a conservation worthy site
  • 26 Rugby House (No 28 Roper Street) - Built by the famous rugby player Frederick James 'Uncle' Dobbin for his son in 1928
  • 27 Don McHardy Memorial Fountain - Built in memory of the former General Manager and Director of De Beers
  • 28 Victorian Railway Station - Built in 1886
  • 29 Transport Museum and World War I & II Memorials
  • 30 De Beers Bridge - Erected in 1891 to solve the traffic problem at the railway crossing
  • 31 St Albans Church - Contains some historical artefacts
  • 32 No 2 Takoon Square - The Vicarage (house) of the Rector of St Albans
  • 33 Gladstone School - Kimberley's first double storey school building
  • 34 De Beers' Swimming Pool - Opened to the public on 23 October 1907
  • 35 Cecil Rhodes' De Beers Mining Company Boardroom - Possibly the most historical address in Kimberley
  • 36 Thusong Children's Home - Place of safety and shelter for street children
  • 37 The De Beers Mine - The De Beers Mining Company was formed on 28 April 1880
  • 38 The Constance Hall - Now known as the 'Danskraal' (an area in which to dance), it was utilised as a social hall
  • 39 Cold Storage Building - The plant could make 5 tonnes of ice daily and could hold 6 000 carcasses of sheep
  • 40 KAC Grounds - Kimberley Athletic Club, a famous sports ground
  • 41 Oriental Building (No 27 Old De Beers Road) - Built in 1905 and notable for the two reclining female figures on the parapet

  • The Stone (Barkly) Bridge – Barkly West
    The first bridge constructed in 1885 across the Vaal River and been declared a National Monument in 1979.
    Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme – Hartswater
    Vaalharts is one of the most extensive irrigation settlements in South Africa. The Vaalharts Scheme covers 36959ha and is fed by the Vaal and Bloemhof dams. This irrigation scheme is the largest in the southern hemisphere and second largest in the world.
    Historical Walk – Kimberley
    This historical walk hosts 33 of the city's most historical sites. Kimberley was named in 1873 after John Wodehouse, first earl of Kimberley. Diamond discoveries at Coleberg Kopje on Vooruitzicht farm in 1871 and triggered the first diamond rush into Kimberley. Today Kimberley is a prosperous thriving metropolis named "the Diamond Capital of the world". The Big hole and Kimberley Museum boasts Kimberley oldest house and displays of the "Eureka" first recorded diamond discovered in this region (616 carats uncut octahedron diamond).
    Vaalbos National Park
    An extraordinary area along the Vaal River where wildlife such as roan antelope, black rhino, white rhino, buffalo, eland, red hartebeest and tsessebe are to be seen in the former heart of the alluvial diamond diggings near Kimberley. The name Vaalbos originates from the vaalbos (camphor bush) which is a prominent plant species in the park.

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