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Treasures of Swellendam – Compiled by the SHA

Swellendam Treasures

Compiled by the Swellendam Heritage Association

In the 1980s members of the, then, Swellendam Trust and the Tourist bureau compiled a list of places of interest in and around Swellendam with maps for visitors to follow.  It was called “SWELLENDAM TREASURES”  based on the buildings proclaimed National monuments at the time and it has remained a useful document for over 30 years.

Swellendam Heritage Association decided time had come to update this publication.

So many things had changed both politically and physically.  Some buildings had been restored, some were lost and others still had become monuments, good examples of architecture in the early 20th century and over 60 years of age.

One of the aims was to describe   old buildings  and appreciate them in the context of local history, both for the visitor and  for the prospective purchaser. SHA was aided in this by Charles De Kock of Chas Everitt who sponsored the book for SHA and for the use of his sales staff & customers. The museum staff also assisted by finding all the old photos used.

The format followed that of the original publication with 3 routes around the town illustrating various periods & styles. The houses have been photographed and described  by SHA members themselves and where possible their history recorded. The book gives a history of Swellendam and includes some interesting buildings and sites in the surrounding area.

It proved a mammoth task taking the committee over a year and much animated discussion to produce but the resulting book is something Swellendam Heritage Association is very proud of.

This book consisting of 90 pages with a soft cover and 131 photographs mainly in colour (with some reproductions of historical photos in black and white). The photos carry a description of each building or place listed in the book. The book also contains details to four suggested routes with maps (or co-ordinates) as to where one can view the buildings and places listed in the book. There is a short but reasonably detailed history of the establishment of Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa. For owners or potential buyers, there is a section on what is required of anyone owning or intending to buy a heritage home.

The first edition was launched at the SHA AGM (2018) and quickly sold out, so a second edition has been printed  due to popular demand.

This book is a must for locals and visitors alike!

Available at:

Museum shop

Info office

Bokmakierie Book Shop (Carlton Mall, Voortrek Street)

The book sells for R190.00 a copy plus postage.