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Barberton Manor Guest House

'The Gem of Barberton'

4 star accommodation South Africa
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Museums and Heritage Walk


Barberton boasts several museums and places of interest. Have a look below.
If you would like to visit all the places, do the Heritage Walk: the signs in town will guide you to all places of interest. You start at the museum.
Museums in Barberton

Local History Museum

The visitor's first stop should be at the Local History Museum, where he can learn about geology, mining, the inhabitants and cultural history of the area. The building also houses the museum office and an auditorium. Adjacent is the Jewelry Project.

Open daily from 9:00h to 16:00h
Crown Street
Tel.: 013 - 712 42 08

1. Start of the Heritage Walk
2. Lodge of St. John in the South

This neo-Gothic building was built as the Union Church in 1884. In 1887 it was taken over by the Lodge of St. John in the South.
Blockhouse in Barberton
  3. Blockhouse  
This fort dates from 1901 and is an example of the earliest design (made of wood and iron guard) of the Britisch Blockhouse in South Africa. During the Anglo-Boer War the Britisch built it (together with 4 other ones) as a position to protect the Concentration camp and Military Hospital. It was manned by the Barberton Town guard which consisted of local volunteers.
Belhaven in Barberton
  4. Belhaven House Museum  
Belhaven, built in 1904, is an example of a pre-fabricated house with corrugated iron outer walls and pressed iron panels on the interior. It is furnished in the style of the late Victorian and early Edwardian periods, and depicts the lifestyle of a welathy middle class family.

Tours: Monday - Sunday
Time: 10:00h, 11:00h, 12:00h, 14:00h and 15:00h
Fernela House in Barberton
  5. Fernlea House  
This wood and iron house was built for Mrs. Emily Fernandez in the early 1890's. She married Mr. Thomas Lee, owner of a photography and drapery business in town. The building now houses an exhibition mainly about Rimer'sCreek and the restoration of the house.

Open: Monday - Friday
Time: 8:30h - 13:00h & 13:30h - 16:00h
6. Turbine

The Gilbert Gikes and Gordon Turbine, situated about 720 meters from Fernlea House, was installed in 1931 to purify the town's water. The turbine was manufactured in Kendal, Cumbria, England.
Specifications: 27'' Pelton Wheel; speed: 1000 r.p.m.  Efficiency at design point: 80%
In 1986 the turbine was donated to the museum and re-installed in it's original building.
7. Rimer's Creek

After the discovery of gold by Fred and Henry Barber and theirs cousin Graham Barber, the Gold Commissioner from Kaapsche Hoop, David Wilson, declared a township at the base of the Umvoti Creek where it entered the De Kaap Valley, by breaking a bottle of gin here on 24 July 1884. There was a choice between naming the township Barberton or Rimerton. By popular demand the name Barberton was chosen. To perpetuate Rimer's association with the place, the Umvoti Creek was henceforth known as 'Rimer's Creek'.
Rimer's Creek became a popular recreational corner of Barberton. There was a tearoom called 'The Sportman's Lodge' above the site of the Turbine, which drew crowds particularly on Wednesdays when it was frequented by the barmaids of the town.
8. Stopforth House

The original house and outbuildings were constructed in 1886 by James Stopforth, a Baker and General dealer, originally from England and later from Pilgrim's Rest. In 1892 the house was rebeuilt. It was occupied by the Stopforth family from 1886 until 1983 and is furnished with the original furniture and household articles used by the Stopforth family between 1886 and 1914.

Tours: Monday - Sunday
Time: 10:00h, 11:00h, 12:00h, 14:00h and 15:00h
9. Original Kerbstones

The stone-kerbing dates from the nineteenth century.
10. Anglican Church

The original Anglican Church was a wood-and-iron construction which was brough to Barberton by ox-wagon from Natal. The corner-stone of the church was laid in 1924 and the cost of building the church was three thousand pounds. The pulpit was designed by Rev. Sheppard, who, together with a helper carried the quartz that it was made of from the mountain himself. The baptismal font is made of verdite and there is a memorial plague dedicated to the Barbers at the entrance.

  De Kaap Stock Exchange
  11. De Kaap Stock Exchange  
The De Kaap Stock Exchange was the second sock exchange in Barberton. It was built in 1887, but its existence was short-lived. In 1899 the building was bought by Sammy Marks, and in 1910 it was taken over by the Barberton Municipality to house the Carnegie Library and the first museum. When the condition of the building deteriorated to such an extent that it had to be demolished, only the facade could be preserved.
12. Barberton Club with hitching posts

The Barberton Club was the gathering place for men of Barberton. Well known millionaires of the Witwatersrand such as Abe Bailey, Alfred Beit and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick were members. During the early part of the Anglo-Boer War it was used as a hospital by the Boer forces. In 1900 when the British occupied the town, they used the Club as an Officers' Mess. The original building burned down and was replaced by the present building. In front of it, the original hitching posts, where the horses were tethered, can still be seen.

13. The Globe

The Tavern was built in 1887 fro Mr. B. Jacobs & Co. In later years it was used as a scholl, a tailors' shop and a store room.

14. Phoenix Hotel

The original hotel was built on this site in 1886. It is said that President Paul Kruger was entertained here after having had discussions with the Diggers. The hotel was so popular that on occasions when there was not enough accommodation, the guests had to sleep on or under the billiard table.

15. Lewis and Marks Building

The first double storey building in Barberton, it was built for Sammy Marks and his cousin, Isaac Lewis, who established an important company in the fields of mining, agriculture and industry. The Bank of Africa was on the ground floor, and other offices on the top storey. In later year the cast iron verandah was removed, the building plastered and a third storey added.

16. Market Square

Teh Market Square was the meeting place of the diggers and the businessmen. On market days and especially Saturdays it was a hive of activity with farmers and customers with their oxen, wagons and horses. This was also the arrival and departure place of the post cart.

17. Jock of the Bushveld statue

In front of the Town Hall the statue of Jock of the Bushveld, the faithful dog of Percy Fitzpatrick during his days as a transport rider can be seen. Fitzpatrick and Jock travelled all over the Lowveld together. The statue by Ivan Mitford-Barberton was originally unveiled in Fitzpatrick Park by Mrs. Mackie-Niven, the daughter of the late Percy Fitzpatrick and moved to it's present position during Barberton's Centenary in 1984.

18. Todd House

Situated above Kellar Park, the house was built by the Todd family about 1887, and is at present owned by the third generation of the family. 
It is a private residence.

19. English Lodge

The English Lodge with its neo-classical architecture is situated opposite the Town Hall.

Steam train arriving in Barberton
20. Steam Locomotive

This locomotive was manufactured in 1898 by Nielson & Co. for the Cape Government Railways. The Kaapmuiden-Barberton railway line was opened on 1 April 1896 and similar locomotives were used on it. 
This particular locomotive was brought to Barberton on its own steam in 1971.
21. War Memorial

Situated directly in front of the Magistrates' Court is the War Memorial, the Town's memorial to her sons who fell in the two wars. 
It was unveiled by His Excellency, the Right Hon., the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of South Africa on 9 June 1924.
22. Magistrates' Court

The building was originally erected to house all of the Government departments and was completed by 1911. 
However, the townfolks of Barberton were critcal of the building as it had many fireplaces and ornamental mantelpieces, but lacked any lavatory accommodation. The building was surrounded by terraced grounds planted with shrubs and flowers.

23. Cemetery

The cemetery is situated in Gospel Street and has graves dating from the early years of Barberton. The graves of the different ethnic and religious groups were segregated. A memorial to the memory of those who died in the Concentration Camp during the Anglo-Boer War can be seen here. Two hundred and sixteen Boers are said to have died in the Camp.

Garden of rememberance in Barberton
  24. Garden of Remembrance and Regimental Badges  
During the Second World War a military camp was established north-east of the town, where troops were trained before being sent to war. After the war the graves of British servicemen and women who fell in the Lowveld during the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) were concentrated in a cemetery next to the camp site. Some of the South African units which passed through the camp erected replicas of their regimental badges and crests to commemorate their stay.


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