Ladysmith

Ladysmith

Ladysmith lies on the banks of the Klip River and was named after Lady Juana Smith, the Spanish-born wife of the Governor, Sir Harry Smith. The town celebrated the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its founding year in 2000. One of the most important events in the history of the town was the 118-day siege by Boer forces during the Anglo-Boer War that made world headlines. Today Ladysmith is the commercial hub for surrounding communities. During winter the snow-capped peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains form an awe-inspiring backdrop to the town.

Culture/Community Tourism

Ladysmith/Emnambithi Cultural Centre: The Cultural Centre exhibits a lively display on the history of the well-known a cappella group “Ladysmith Black Mambazo”. Other displays detail different local achievements.

Sunday Township Concerts: Experience the rich, vibrant atmosphere of a township through dance, narration and choir performances by local artists.

Fauna And Flora

Black Rock: Black Rock, on the banks of the Klip River, is an ideal nature spot where picnics and barbecues can be held.

Malendeni Bird Sanctuary: Malendeni Bird Sanctuary, on the banks of a lake, is home to some 236 species of birds.

History And Architecture

All Saints Anglican Church: All Saints Anglican Church lists the names of the 3 000 British soldiers who died during the Siege of Ladysmith. The church was built in 1902 of flagstones quarried in the area.

Battlefields: Famous battlefields in the area include Spioenkop, Vaalkrans, Colenso, The Loop, Thukela Heights, Surprise Hill and Elandslaagte.

Castor and Pollux Cannons: Two cannons, “Castor” and “Pollux” were used by British forces during the Anglo-Boer War. The cannons were able to inflict significant damage to one of the Boers’ “Long Tom” guns.

Colonel Dick Cunyngham VC Cairn: The Colonel Dick Cunyngham Cairn marks the spot where the commander of the Second Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders died during the Anglo-Boer War after being hit by a stray bullet.

Keerweder: Keerweder, presented to Dr Schoon upon his retirement from the Dutch Reformed Church, is a fine example of Victorian architecture.

Ladysmith Siege Museum: The Siege Museum displays documents, uniforms, firearms and artefacts regarding the Siege of Ladysmith.

“Long Tom” Replica: Long Tom is a replica of one of the four cannons that were imported from France and used by the Boer forces during the Anglo-Boer War.

Manchester Fort: Manchester Fort contains the remains of 300 Boers who died during the Anglo-Boer War.

Old Toll House: The Old Toll House was in use until 1882, levying a fee on all wagons, carts and carriages entering the town.

Statue of Mahatma Ghandi: A statue of Mahatma Ghandi stands in the grounds of the Lord Vishnu Temple. During the Siege of Ladysmith, Ghandi was a stretcher-bearer with General Buller’s British relief forces.

Soofi Mosque: The Soofi Mosque, a national monument, is considered to be one of the most beautiful mosques in the Southern Hemisphere.

Town Hall: The Town Hall was built in 1893 and currently houses the Ladysmith Information Centre.

Umbulwane: A series of self-guided hiking trails traverse the historical mountain of Umbulwane. The mountain was once inhabited by San people and played an important part in the Anglo-Boer War.

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