Philippolis – OFS

Philippolis – OFS


Philippolis is the first town build in the Orange Free  and the town is the birthplace and hometown to many South African celebrities including, the writer  Sir Laurens Van Der Post.

Today the heritage status of the town attracts visitors and holiday makers and the town has converted many of its heritage buildings into accommodation.

The town is also a good springboard to visit Tiger Canyon a Tiger Sanctuary run by conservationist, John Varty.

The town has a number of heritage sites including an historical jail that has been turned into a bed and breakfast guest house.

The Emily Hobhouse Memorial commemorates human rights activist Emily Hobhouse who helped expose and publicize British maladministration and deaths in the concentration camps by during the Boer War. After the war, Hobhouse established a spinning and weaving school in Philippolis in 1905.

The Transgariep museum was opened on 2 March 1982. It focuses on the London Missionary Society and Emily Hobhouse and her weaving school.

The town jail was built in 1872 and served as a jail for 70 years. It was subsequently converted into a police station and several changes were made such as the repurposing of jail cells into charge offices. The South African Defense Force used the jail as an army barracks from 1972 to 1982. The jail was abandoned from 1982 until 1998 when it was restored and turned into a bed and breakfast guest house.

The Dutch Reformed Church (NGK) in Philippolis was opened in 1871. The church is famous for its pulpit which is carved from wild olive and erected with no nails, screws or bolts. This site is a declared Provincial Heritage Site.

Some of the other heritage sites include:

  • The property, together with the Karoo styled Dwelling-house thereon, 4 Justisie Street
  • The Old Pound, together with a portion of surrounding land, being 5 metres on the northern and western side of the structure, the land on the eastern site to and bordered by Justisie Street and the land on the southern side thereof to and bordered by Erf 129, Philippolis.
  • The property, together with the Victorian House thereon, 7 Colin Fraser Street (Amended declared in 1990.
  • The historic Old Power Magazine, together with 10 metres of surrounding land, situated on Subdivision 20 of the Town Lands of Philippolis 143,declared in 1991.
  • The wagon house adjacent the Victorian House together with the property on which they are situated, at 6 and 7 Colin Fraser Street, declared in a National Monument in 1990.
  • Thanks Wikipedia for some of the info.