Durbanville

Durbanville or Pampoen Kraal Image source

The site currently known as Durbanville was originally called Pampoen Kraal. On 2 September 1836 it was renamed D'Urban in honour of Sir Benjamin D'Urban, Governor of the Cape. Durbanville is not your average Cape Town neighbourhood. There is so much more going on than the daily school run. This is a neighbourhood filled with great experiences for everyone to enjoy.

 
Exploring the wine route will requires a day or two all on its own. There are so many farms to choose from and each one has many great things to offer its visitors. 
Some have very unique pairings (such as chocolate and wine or pizza and wine) while others are perfectly suited to families thanks to great facilities for kids and parents alike.
 
There are 12 farms in the valley and all are worth exploring – Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, D’Aria, DeGrendel, Dimersdal, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Meeredndal, N’Tida, Phizante Kraal and Signal Gun.
 
20 minutes to the north of the city of Cape Town, Durbanville is one of the oldest municipalities in the Western Cape Province and originally called Pampoenkraal (pumpkin fold), after a meeting place for local farmers around some fresh water springs just beyond the Durbanville Hills.
 
Later named Durbanville, after Sir Benjamin D’Urban, governor of the Cape Between 1834 and 1838, this part of the world lies in a beautiful valley that is home to one of the most closely guarded secrets in Cape Town - the Durbanville wine route.
 
Wine farming began in Durbanville as early as the 17th century, when the first farms in the area were allocated and vineyards planted with Cape Madeira, the most popular white grape of the time. A number of these farms now form part of the Durbanville Route and award-winning wines, grown by generations of wine-makers and ranging across the red and white cultivars to individual cellar blends, can be sampled during the week.
 
The Durbanville nature reserve deserves a mention, as one can picnic in this area - originally cleared of Port Jackson and laid out with paths by the National Council of Women, who uses the nature reserve to promote, protect and further the interest in the unique fynbos that grows here.
 
The local craft market, held on the first Saturday of every month, is held at Rust-en-Vrede, in Wellington Road at the cultural centre, a Cape Dutch complex that dates back to 1850. The building, which deserves a visit in its own right, was originally a prison, a magistrate’s court, a school and finally a private residence. Today it is home to a coffee shop, a clay museum, with works by prominent South African ceramists, and a gallery that exhibits contemporary artists.
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Last updated : 06-Jun-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 14-Jul-2011

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