Midlands of KZN

  • Midlands of KZN
BALGOWAN - Michaehouse College

Michaelhouse was founded 1n 1896 by James Todd, with 15 boys in Loop Street PMB, and then relocated to Balgowan in 1901 with around 80 scholars. This private school has an envious academic and sporting record. Over 30 Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded. The College is on 60 acres of land with a generous allocation to sporting facilities. The main school facilities are built in quadrangles of red brick and has eight boarding houses starting with Founders in 1828 and the last being McKenzie in 1995. with about 65 boys in each house. The Herbert Baker designed Chapel is a main feature of the College and can now seat about 600 people and features a bell tower (1950's), stain glass windows and memorials to the WWI & WWII who gave their lives. The College has a 550 seater theatre, extensive library, indoor centre (2006), and extensive fields and Pavilions. Well known alumni include Prof. David Brooks (philosopher), Wilbur Smith (author), John van der Ruit (author Spud), Patrick Lamby (rugby), and many others. This album features all the main structures of the college, the playing fields and other interesting aspects of the College.


Balgowan is a small village on the old road between Nottingham Road and Howick. Balgowan is dominated by the presence of Michaelhose College, but is surrounded with traveller destinations like Beaconvlei depicted in this album.


Boston is on the road between Bulwer and Underburg. It is a small farming community and this gallery includes images of the Cemetery with monuments to those who fell in the Boer War and WWI & WWII. there are graves of the local people who died. The Moth Hall has a plaque to the fallen and a tank. Included in the grounds of the Country Club is a Pill Box , built for protection during the Bambatha rebellion.

 Caversham Mill - Caversham Press and Mission

Caversham Mill on the banks of the Lions River (Mpofana) is currently a restaurant and accommodation establishment, close to Lidgetton. The farm, Boschfontein No: 901 was originally granted to Chris Botha, and then subdivided, a portion of which now forms part of the complex on below the falls. A mill was established here in 1852 and was on the transport riders route on the way to the interior. The mill is no longer in operation but the transport cutting, mill house and some of the original wood & iron buildings dating to the early 1900's remain in use. This album also features the Cavesham Press located in an old Mission Church and graves relating to people of the area. The Caversham Press has an outreach program called Masabelani of which there are images.Also included are exterior images of Caversham farm house.

Curry's Post - Hotel, Trading Store & St Pauls Church - Old Halliwell

Curry's Post used to be on the main road to the interior and became especially busy when troops used this route during the Anglo Boer War. The building of the N3 took all the traffic off this road and the trading post and hotel lost much of its former trade. There are remains of the trading post and the grounds still offer accommodation and a coffee shop. St Pauls Church, a small stone walled structure is still used and the cemetery has many of the original Curry family graves. The Old Halliwell Country Inn dating from the 1830's which was a farm house and used as a fort is featured. The Inn is now a country retreat, wedding and conference destination. Dirt Traders a maker of fine leather goods home is included.

CURRIES POST - Cranford Lodge

Cranford Lodge in the vicinity of Curries Post is one of the original homes in the area which was on the route to the gold mines before the new R103 and then N3 was built. At present the Lodge is a conference, wedding, and getaway with a multitude of accomodation options. This album gives a sense of the site with images of the original farmhouse and also the appaloosa stud animals. The farm was settled in about 1856.

Dargle - Corrie Lynn

Corrie Lynn in the Dargle valley along the Petrus Stroom road has been in the Fowler family for many generations. This album has images of the original farm house and also some of the old iron outbuildings dating back to 1882. This working farm also has an art gallery,quality furniture manufacturing factory & outlet and a comfy self catering cottage with views over the Dargle valley.

Dargle and Fort Nottingham

Dargle St Andrews Church is the burial site of many early settlers & including Brigadier General Sir Duncan McKenzie.Close by is the early Tanglewood Home dating back to 1885. The gallery also features old Dargle homes like Kilgobbin, Aird Farm, and Fort Nottingham, which was established by the Sherwood Foresters in 1856 to protect farmers against Bushman raids. Also included are aerial images of Singletons Hotel (1890), and Maritzdal. Maritzdal was owned by Duncan McKenzie, and then bought by Sir Harry Kimber, who's son Percy, and his descendants farmed there for over 100 years. The Maritzdal house was originally a wood sawyers cottage, and changed into a double storey in 1902 and present state in 1937. (Ref: B Griffin - My Dargle)

DARGLE - St Andrews Church & Cemetery

St Andrews Church on the Dargle road has a quaint church and cemetery that has served this community since the mid 1883. The original church, built in 1883 was reconstructed into its present form in 1934. Graves with the names , Fannin, Fowler, Pratt, Singlewood, Kimber, and McKenzie liberally populate the graveyard. Many of the descendents of these families still live in this valley The most significant grave is that of Brigadier General Sir Duncan McKenzie, a farmer, transport rider and highly decorated soldier, who saw action in the Anglo Boer War, Bambatha Rebellion and WWI in South West Africa(Namibia). The album has a comprehensive record of most of the graves and that of the church interior and exterior.

Estcourt Town Centre and Wagendrift Dam

Estcourt on the banks of the Bushmans river was first settled in 1838 and became a transport route and trading town. As well as the historical sites such as Fort Durnford (1974) and Saailaer ,the town has many old Schools (Estcourt Government School 1886), Agricultural Hall, Churches, monuments and homes.This Gallery covers all these aspects along with the Escourt Gallery featuring Fort Durnford. This gallery also has images of Wagondrift Dam that supplies Estcourt and of the nature reserve.

Estcourt - Fort Durnford - Saailaer - Willow Grange

Fort Durnford was originally built in 1847 and replaced in its present form in 1873.It was built by Lt . Col. A.W. Durnford to protect the locals from marauding Zulus. Saailaer was a laager established by Gert Maritz in 1838 and withstood an attack by a Zulu Impi.The site is overlooked by Fort Durnford on the north bank of the Bushmans River. In town overlooking the Bushmans River is a monument to those that lost their lives in the Boer War. This gallery also has images of the graves of those who fell at the battle of Willow Grange. This site is about six km south on a gravel road, off the old main road from Estcourt to Mooi River.

Estcourt - Howell Family Cemetary

This family cemetary off the Estcourt - Colenso road and close to Chievely Station has graves of the Howell family. Unfortunately the graves have been vandalised

Hilton - Natal Railway Museum

The Natal Railway Museum closed in 2010 and was re opened as the Hilton Steam Heritage Association in 2012. The Hilton station lies on the old Johannesburg to Durban line, however this line was eventually closed. The 6km Cedara tunnels were constructed in 1960, but the line continued to be used until 1987 when the 1987 floods damaged the line. Trains from the Museum continued to use the line from the Cedara side for some time. (Ref; Grant Fryer) The Museum has several interesting Steam engines like the North British 4-8-4T Industrial Tank Loco, SAR Class 1 No 1276 and the 36 ton Sheldon Cowan steam crane. This gallery has images of the many steam engines, old rolling stock and of the Hilton Station.

Hilton Village

The farm Hilton , which was to become the Village of today was given the name by Jane Henderson, one of the original famers in the area in 1960. Hilton Farm was next to the Voortrekker farm, Groenekloof belonging to Philip Zietsman. This area was an important timber growing area and on the main Transport Riders route to the interior. This gallery has images of the Village,the Hilton Road Public Hall (1906), Hilton Garden of Remembrance, Quarry Centre, Crossroads Hotel, Anglican Church of Ascension and some aerial views of the local Eva's field airstrip.

Howick and Midmar

This gallery is an extensive gallery featuring many historic parts of Howick ; the Falls, many churches , Boer War Concentration Camp Monument, Lions River Monument, Midmar Dam, Mandela capture site, railway station, CBD and shops. Many buildings date back to the late 19th Century.

Howick and Midmar from above

This album has images taken from a microlight aircraft and includes images of Midmar Dam, old farms around Midmar, Howick Falls, Fairfell farm, Howick retirement villages and Howick Falls.

Hilton - Cedara - Evas Field

This album has images taken from the air of the Hilton Rail Tunnels and of the small craft airfield at Eva's Field

HILTON College

This gallery records most of the significant facilities, monuments, chapel, Houses of this prestigious school that was founded in 1872 by Gould A Lucas & Reverend William Newnham as a boys private boarding school. Found featured here are the likes of the chapel and its interior, the Centenary Hall, sports facilities and the dining room with its portraits gallery of past headmasters and tributes to past scholars and benefactors of the school. The facilities are in superb state and include fitness centres, cricket grounds and pavilions,swimming pools,rugby grounds and wilderness area on this 1762 hectare estate. The farm was originally owned by Voortrekkers and known as Ongegund. It was then sold to Joseph Henderson in 1849 and renamed Hilton. The school has 7 Houses namely Churchill (1911),Ellis (1906),Falcon (1939),Lucas (1998), Mckenzie (1919), Newnham (1906) and Pearce (1906). Some of the earliest buildings exist as the museum,sanatorium and Head Masters house.

Howick,Howick Falls and Midmar Dam - from the Air

This album has images taken from the air of the Howick CBD, Howick Falls and the Midmar Dam in the Natal midlands. Midmar Dam is a major water supply to the Durban area and a pleasure resort with Swimming (Midmar Mile ),boating,sailing and fishing being its main attractions.There is camping and chalets available for stay overs.

Kamberg - Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse set in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains ( a World Heritage site). Aside from a must for the romantic and Gourmet "specialist" , the setting of this country lodge is a photographer's dream. The Lodge, which is owned and operated by Richard and Mouse Poynton has the old farmhouse as it's core accomodation, and is set in well manicured gardens, overlooking a tranquil lake. The interior decor and memorabilia provide some sense of the pioneer and colonial era. This album has images of this well known and respected establishment.


Karkloof vally lies to the north of Howick and is a highly productive farming area. The area was settled in the mid 1850's and this album has a few images of the older farmhouses such as Barringtons, Yarrow and Shawswood. The album also covers the the Karkloof Country Club which is adjacent to the Crane Foundation sanctuary. Also included are images of the Goodman Houshold Monument commemorating what was arguably the first recorded flight in RSA, in a glider between 1871 and 1875.

Karkloof Valley Conservancy

In 1997 farmers in the Karkloof valley, realizing the diversity of species in the valley , formed the Karkloof Conservancy to manage this important wetland zone, and home to the Wattled and Crested Cranes that are endangered species. This album features images of the Karkloof Valley and from this it is clear to see the beauty of this natural heritage area. Also included is the Karkloof Crane Conservancy on Gartmore farm, with its wetlands, bird hides, picnic area, and safe haven for the Cranes, who nest in this area. The visitors centre has many panels explaining the diversity of the area, both large and small.

Lions River & Lidgetton 17

Lions River & Lidgeton are on the old main road.They are small villages serving the local community and are part of the Midlands Meander. The Mandela capture site is very close. Also included is the Lions River trading post and old mill. This album also includes aerial images of Lyons river township, Polo fields, Piggly Wiggly, St Ives and the railway station.

Lions River - St Ives

St Ives Lodge and Venue is situated in the heart of the Lions River Valley in the KZN Midlands. St Ives is a Family run establishment and a lot of love is put into all that we do! This 140-hectare Family Owned & Managed Estate offers something for everyone. The Lodge sleeps 48 guests with Wild Animals Roaming the Grounds & the Picturesque Dams, A Unique and Elegant Wedding Venue set on raised decks overlooking the Lake, with an In house event Planning Team to assist in making your Every dream a Reality, As well as Conference and Functions Facilities. Not to mention the Delicious Food, A BOMA Bar( equipped with a Kids play area), This amazing Culmination is a Recipe for Great Success and a Place where our Guests can retreat to and call Home. Be sure to visit Soon! *Other activities include: Fishing, Bird Watching, Lapa Hire, Kids Pump Track and Walking Trails- Please inquire with Reception * Nearby Attractions include: The Nelson Mandela Capture Site, The Karkloof Canopy Tours, Epic Karting and a Large Number of Local Businesses to explore along the Midlands Meander A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY... Prior to the 1800's the Midlands of Natal was used by the Zulu Royal as a hunting reserve which was abundant with elephant and lion. The last lion to be killed in the whole district was shot in a deep gulley on St Ives Hill, and the shooting of this lion resulted in the area, looking down onto the river below, to be called “Lions River”. The name St Ives originates from the birthplace of John Day, who was born at St Ives, Huntingdonshire in England and purchased the farm from the Boer Settlers in 1862. The first Durban to Johannesburg railway line ran directly through St Ives and reached Johannesburg in 1893. St Ives was established as a horse stud in the early 1900's and was a renowned nursery for top thoroughbreds including the horse “Legacy” winner of the July handicap in 1933. ridden by Ernest "Tinker" Lariviere, the betting stood at 13 to 2 and won William Raw, the owner of St Ives at the time 5000 pounds. St Ives is on the R103 - Midmar Road, Lions River KZN opposite Piggly Wiggly Ref: St Ives Web site. Contact: reservations@stives.co.za +27332344490

Merivale - Cedara - Mpompomani

This gallery has images of Merivale, Cedara Agricultural College and the local Mpompameni township. The Township has images of the original farm house (Montrose), N. Gumede Reconciliation memorial and overall township views.

Midmar - Fern Hill Hotel

Fern Hill Hotel, adjacent to the Midmar Dam, was built in 1855 by the Swann family. The Hotel started on the farm and successively became a trading post, boarding house for travelers and has recently been extensively upgraded by the current owners . The hotel was well positioned in the early days, being on the transport riders route and later the rail route. Part of the dining area incorporates what was the old railway signaling box. The hotel is also proud of the fact that President Nelson Mandela overnighted there in December 1996. Mandela was captured close to the hotel in August 1952 and this capture is commemorated within east drive of the hotel. The hotel also used to be a popular day destination by train for lunches which continue to this day. The Hotel has a good reputation for its fare an accommodation and in particular its Snooty Fox Restaurant and 26 en-suite rooms.

Mooi River - 48

Mooi River straddles the Mooi River on the main N3 route to the interior.Today the town operates as the commercial centre for the productive farming area and its surrounds.It has an active Country Club, Polo Club and many Churches. Historically the town was on the main wagon transport route inland and the Helen Bridge built in 1866 assisted these transporters over the Mooi. The local Weston Agricultural College was an important Remount station during the Boer War, providing horses to the military.It was also the site of No 4 General Hospital that treated the sick and wounded soldiers. Mooi River was the closest the Boers got to Durban and is close to the many battlefields in KZN.Many of the local farms (like Hartford House & Summerhill Stud) have buildings of historical significance. Mooi River is home to many of the foremost horse studs in South Africa like Summerhill Stud .

Nottingham Road - Hotels, Lodges & Spring Grove Dam

This gallery has images of a few of the iconic getaways in the midlands like Rawdons ,Pleasant Places (Lidgetton)and Granny Mouse\'s Country House - a small sample of some of the many enjoyable places to stay. Also included are images of the rising waters of the Spring Grove Dam on the big Mooi outside Nottingham Road.The dam started filling in August 2014 and will eventually flood a large area of the Mooi River and regrettably the beautiful Inchbrackie Falls,also shown here.

Nottingham Road 63

Nottingham Road is on the Midlands Meander route and has much to offer the retail browser, or those simply wanting to exit the rat race briefly. The Drakensberg is close, as are many fine accomodation establishments. A beer or meal at the Notts Hotel (1854) or Rawdons should be considered for the first timer. The Junction at Notts has a good variety of outlets and close by is the quaint tin structured St Johns Presbyterian Church. This area is home to some of the most productive agricultural farms in the province set against some amazing landscapes.

Nottingham Road - Fort Nottingham - 572

Fort Nottingham was established in 1856 as a result of the need to protect the local farmers from raiding Bushmen. Between 1845 and 1872 there were 62 recorded raids with a loss of 2287 cattle and 400 horses. ( The History of Fort Nottingham - 1856 to 2005, David Fox). In march 1856 a small unit of the 45th Foot, Sherwood Foresters (of 45th cutting fame) established a camp close to the present village. The present village was laid out in 1856 by Thomas Fannin with 20 plots of 2 acres. This is the present site of the village running each side of Shepstone street. The stone garrison buildings followed shortly thereafter in 1856. This album has images of the fort (now a museum), stabling, an old transport wagon and the old well sunk to supply the village. Also included are images of the town hall, residences and graves of the early settlers.


Gowrie Farm 18 hole Golf Course, built on the former Gowrie Farm opened in 2006. The course surrounds include the homes of mainly golfing fraternity. This album has images of the course, club house, club facilities, memorabilia and honours boards.

Nottingham Road - Gowrie Village 753

Gowrie Village is a private estate on the outskirts of Nottingham Road Village. The village has a small element of commercial outlets like Fly-Fishing Shop, Cafe's, Pharmacy, Gym, Estate Agency and also has a Club House, with tennis courts. Most of the houses are private residences. The estate is well managed and close to all Nottingham Road's amenities.


Rosetta in the Midlands, is at the junction on the road that leads up to The Kamberg and Highmoor. It is a small village which in its day was important for the travellers going up country or to the Berg. The album has a hotel, St Georges Church, railway station, and a few retail operations.

Summerhill Stud & Hartford House

Summerhill and Hartford farms form part of the highly successful Summerhill Stud. Both main residences have great historical significance with the Hartford Manor house having been built by the family of the last Prime Minister of Natal. Hartford is also well renowned for its first class accommodation and fine restaurant. Summerhill Stud is the Home of the Champion Breeders and has stabled well known Stallions like Northern Guest, Home Guard & Liloy. A special treat is to be given a tour of the immaculate Estate by the current owner Mick Goss or one of his team.


York, which was settled in 1850 by the Haidee (The Ship) Settlers is in the sugar & tree growing area of the KZN Midlands. It was settled by Wesleyan Yorkshire-men led by Henry Boast who died before embarkation but continued by his wife and committee. The village consists only of the St John's Church (1870), the cemetery with many of the early settlers graves and a small cash store. York is in the vicinity of the Albert Falls Dam. (Formerly Peaties Lake ) This album also has images of the Albert Falls Dam spillway on, which is on the road to York.

KZN: A Photographic and Historical Record

KZN: A Photographic and Historical Record