Wynberg, The Camp

Wynberg, The Camp
From an old postcard

The British arrived in False Bay in July 1795 under the pretext as caretakers of Dutch business as Napoleon was overrunning Europe. They took control of the Cape settlement on 16 Sept 1795 after the British troops, supported by gunfire from their ships, swept up the coast towards Muizenberg.

The small farming area of Wynberg developed rapidly into a garrison town, as the British settled a large amount of troops in the area. Being the halfway house between Table Bay and False Bay made it an attractive village for commercial activity. Farmers now had a new offset point for their produce besides the market in Cape Town. Subdivision of farms took place and commercial as well as residential properties were developed to supply the needs mostly of the military camp but also travelers on the wagon road between the two bays.

The Cape was returned to the Dutch in 1802, but the British took control of the Cape again after the start of the Napoleonic Wars in 1806.

This Wynberg military base was established in 1804 following the report of a commission appointed to find a suitable base for the 'Hottentot Corps'. The farm of one Alexander Tennant - De oude Wynberg - was selected. This land was apparently so called as Jan van Riebeeck, following his settlement on the farm Bosheuwel (now Bishopscourt) in 1658, had planted vines here. In July 1685 the land came into the possession of Governor Simon van der Stel, who six weeks later transferred ownership to his eldest son, Adriaan. It was acquired by Albert Coopman on 10 August 1701, who on the same day 'sold' the land to Frans van der Stel, a younger son of the governor. From 1804 the military took increasing interest in this strategic location. The rock behind 2 Military Hospital with an inscription recording the dates when the 59th Regiment (2nd East Lancashire) formed part of the Cape garrison: 1806, 1859-61, 1911-14.

Main Thoroughfare, The Camp, WYnberg

Last updated 14 May, 2009

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