In 1896, long before this mining town was named Allanridge, two British prospectors dug a shaft on the farm Aandenk, removed some promising-looking ore and set off for London to have it analysed. Unfortunately the two prospectors and their ore ended up at the bottom of the sea when their liner sank. Several years later, in 1930, another prospector, Archibald Megson, and his friend, Allan Roberts, a geologist and prospector, deepened the shaft but had to stop drilling when their money ran out. It was only after the Second World War that the hole was once again deepened and the gold-bearing Basal Reef was reached – a mere 120 m deeper than Megson and Roberts’ hole! Today, a small monument marks the site of the original hole and the town proudly bears the name of Allan Roberts. One of the town’s landmarks is the tall headgear and reduction works of the Lorraine Gold Mine and the extensive lake formed and filled with water pumped from the underground workings.
Adventure And Sport
Club sport: The town has a 9-hole golf club, bowling green, swimming pool and squash courts.
Art And Crafts
Candles: Hand-made candles are on sale from a private crafter in town.
Wood carved items: The town has its own local woodcarver and her beautiful woodcarvings can be viewed on request.
Fauna And Flora
Birdwatching: Allanridge Lake is a vision in pink, since it is the playground of thousands of flamingos. Several other species of less flamboyantly coloured water birds also frequent the lake.
History And Architecture
Allan Roberts’ Memorial: The Allan Roberts’ Prospectors’ Borehole Memorial is shaped in the form of a key and symbolises the unlocking of the Free State goldfields.
Mine locomotive: An old mine locomotive named “Paulina” can be seen at the entrance to the mine.
Museum: The Mynsinkgat (“Big Hole”) Museum on the farm Aandenk chronicles the history of gold mining in and around the town.
Edel Olie/Eden Health: This family-run factory is one of the few in South Africa that produces virgin sunflower oil using a technique that prevents the oil from warming up and losing its potency. This technique also prohibits the use of additives. The oil thus produced is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. The factory also produces an Eden Health Oil Cosmetic Collection of creams and treatment oils.
Target Gold Mine: This modern mine uses the deep-mining process to extract gold and is situated in what is known as the “Bothaville Gap”; between two of the world’s biggest gold fields namely those of Welkom and Klerksdorp. Underground tours and visits to the mine’s foundry/smelting house can be organised on request.