The small town of Richmond was originally named Beaulieu after the seat of the Duke of Buccleuch at Richmond. The name was later changed to Richmond as Beaulieu was too difficult to pronounce. The Byrne Scheme of 1850 was instituted to entice British immigrants to Natal. Sadly, most were shipwrecked as they approached the entrance to Port Natal-Durban. Those who survived found the “promised land” a far cry from what they expected and many returned home on the first available passage, leaving only an intrepid few to meet the challenges of this new land. The Richmond area received many of these immigrants and a town was founded on the banks of the Illovo River in 1850. It has since become an agricultural centre for dairy, sugar cane and timber farming.
Adventure And Sport
Angling: Wet your line in one of the many well-stocked dams or rivers in the area.
Beaulieu Dam: Beaulieu Dam offers ideal opportunities for boating, angling and picnicking.
Game Valley Estates: Game Valley Estates offer game-watching, hunting, paragliding and photo-safaris.
Hiking: The Richmond/Byrne district is particularly beautiful. Experience the rich animal and bird life by following the hiking trails in the area.
Roselands Outdoor Adventure Centre: Roselands Outdoor Adventure Centre offers many opportunities for bird- and game-watching.
Fauna And Flora
Bird Life: Several species of water birds, such as egret, ibis and cormorant, frequent the town and its surroundings.
Soada Forest Nature Reserve: The 500-ha Soada Forest Nature Reserve houses many species of antelopes and primates. Be sure to visit the 90-m waterfall in the reserve.
History And Architecture
Baynesfield Estate and Museum: The Baynesfield Estate and Museum is the homestead of one of the area’s first tycoons. The house was built in late Victorian/early Edwardian style.
Blarney Cottage: Blarney Cottage is the last surviving unaltered settler home in Richmond. It dates back to 1878.
Historic Buildings: Some of the old buildings in town include the Old Court House (1906); Bombay House (1902); Muslim Madrassie Mosque (1920) and St Mary’s Anglican Church (1856) – reputedly the oldest Anglican Church in the province.
Richmond, Byrne and District Museum: The Richmond, Byrne and District Museum details the history of the settler community, the Indian community and the Bhaca people.
Settler Cottages: Settler cottages can be found throughout the town.
St. Mary Magdalene’s Church: The churchyard of St Mary Magdalene’s Church contains the graves of several of the early settlers.
Hela Hela: Enjoy the magnificent views from the vantage point of the two Hela Hela sandstone buttresses