This small, railway junction town owes its name to the strong artesian spring on the farm Springfontein. It is situated 150 km south-west of Bloemfontein on National Road N1. The railway lines from Port Elizabeth and East London (in the Eastern Cape) to Gauteng converge here. The town’s history is closely associated with the Anglo-Boer War and the concentration camp erected east of the town.
Adventure And Sport
Hiking: Contact the Municipality for more information about the Sooifontein and Rondefontein hiking trails.
Hunting: Hunting on private game farms in the district commences with the start of the hunting season.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
San Rock Art: The San petroglyphs (engravings) in the area date back approximately 1 000 years.
History And Architecture
Anglo-Boer War Blockhouses: Little remains but the foundations of the British blockhouses built next to the railway line during the Anglo-Boer War.
Anglo-Boer War Concentration Camp: The Anglo-Boer War concentration camp was established east of town. In 1901 it was hit by a heavy snowstorm that severely damaged the already flimsy tents that housed the women and children. The death rate in this camp was particularly high: a total of 704 people, mainly children, having died here.
Concentration Camp Cemetery: More than 700 Boer and 300 British casualties of the Anglo-Boer War lie buried in the Concentration Camp Cemetery, together with the other casualties of war. Unbaptised child victims of the concentration camp lie buried in a separate cemetery.
De Bome House: Emily Hobhouse stayed over in the De Bome house on her visits to Springfontein. Her humanitarian work in the concentration camps necessitated regular visits to the town.
Great Trek Memorials: Memorials and Ox Wagon Tracks, commemorate the centenary celebrations of the Great Trek of 1838.
Historic Washing Stone: The original washing stone used by inmates of the concentration camp, now a monument, serves as a reminder of the awful conditions that Boer women and children suffered in the camp.