Deneys Reitz

by William Gaul and Steven Gamble Deneys Reitz was an adventurer, a soldier, an attorney, a cabinet minister and an author - whose memoires of the Anglo Boer War - Commando: A Boer Journal Of The Boer War, published in 1929 – brought him considerable fame. Born 2 April 1882 in Bloemfontein and died 19 [...]

June 10th, 2016|History|

A walk down Victorian Parktown

By Lucille Davie You know those grand mansions in Parktown you drive past all the time? Well, here's a way to stop and take a peek inside some of them. The Parktown & Westcliff Heritage Trust ( conducts weekly tours of old Johannesburg, and one of those tours is Victorian Parktown. Actually, not much of [...]

June 10th, 2016|History|

Parktown Archive

An archive containing the records of the Association going back 40+ years is housed at St Margaret’s – in one of Parktown’s most beautiful heritage houses. This has been made possible through the enormous generosity of Ashley Alley – a resident – and his company, Izingwe. The records comprise the minutes of meetings, every newsletter, correspondence, the [...]

June 7th, 2016|History|

History of the Country Club Johannesburg

The idea of a sporting club was originally put forward by two land developers, John Landau and Charles Cohen, who thought it would be a good way to attract residential buyers to the newly formed area of Auckland Park. So it was that the manager of the Auckland Park Real Estate Company, Herbert Moss, convened [...]

May 27th, 2016|History|

The Guild Cottage

As we've talked about in previous newsletters, the Braamfontein Company's select band of architects – Herbert Baker and Harry Clayton among them – had been commissioned to design houses on strategically selected sites on the hillside running down to “The Dell”, today known as Frank Brown Park. The water supplied to Parktown was already being [...]

May 27th, 2016|History|

St. Katharine’s Centenary

In 2016, St Katharine's school, at 43 Escombe Road, celebrates its Centenary. The school was started by Ethel Fielding, who came out to the Transvaal from England at the age of twenty-five. It began at “Norkap” in Barclay (now Barkly) Road in 1913, but was moved to Richard and Ethel Fielding's own home on Rhodes Avenue [...]

May 27th, 2016|History|

Parktown West – The Early Days

In the early 1900s, large chunks of the farm Braamfontein, having been found not to be likely to produce payable quantities of gold, had to be turned to profit. The Braamfontein Company, which owned the land on which Parktown, Westcliff, Parkview and Saxonwold would arise, had noted that the ridge to the north of the [...]

May 27th, 2016|History|

Florence Phillips and the beginnings of Parktown

After living in the brash new town of Johannesburg for only three years (in Noord Street), Lionel and Florence Phillips had had enough of the ceaseless dust and noise of  the town. Lionel had recently been elected President of the Chamber of Mines and this would mean entertaining the great and glamorous of the day: [...]

May 26th, 2016|History|

Parktown Origins

The suburb of Parktown was laid out in 1893 by the Braamfontein Estate Company. It fell beyond the existing city limits and was considered to be out, “in the country” and therefore desirable as a place to live for Johannesburg’s new mining magnates, the Randlords.  It was administered as a private estate until 1904 and [...]

May 20th, 2016|History|