Cape Town, before the Anglo – Boer War (1899 – 1902) was essentially a sleepy place. The discovery of gold and diamonds in Kimberley and the Witwatersrand in the 1870’s and 1880’s had shifted the attention away from the city, although the port still served the interior of the Cape. This was to change dramatically when the war broke out and the port was filled to bursting point.

These images, mainly from before 1900, are from my own collection. They show Cape Town as it then was. I hope you enjoy them. Martin

Cape Town Jetty

This shows Cape Town harbour in 1879, with the skeleton of a boat in the foreground.


Cape Town docks with carts, ships

Here is one from the deck of a ship. The warehouses and the horses and carts are clearly visible.


Docks, Cape Town_2

This image is lovely – the ‘penny ferry’ used to cross the mouth of the harbour when I was a child, with a man rowing across.


Adderly Street, Cape Town

Adderley Street – once the grandest street in Africa – yet here unpaved and with an ox cart lumbering up it! I think the Standard Bank is on the left.


Scan-1The city as seen from Signal Hill


Cape Town from Signal HillAnd another view from Signal Hill, looking towards Lions Head and Table Mountain

Vinyards Cape Town 2

Here is a rarity! The vineyards of Kloof Nek – I wonder what the wine was like?


Cape Town with cartsAnd it was not all work – here is an early view of a day at the races!