The historical village of Matjiesfontein packs a punch in terms of heritage and culture. Apart from the historic hotel buildings dating from the mid 1880’s, there is the Transport Museum and the very popular Marie Rawdon Museum, both housing an array of items collected by David Rawdon, during the course of his lifetime.
The Transport museum is incredibly fascinating and here you can find a vast collection of bicycles from different times, vintage cars, a steam train and an old London bus. If you are nuts about transport and all things associated with it, then this is the place to have a nosey around.
But it is the Marie Rawdon Museum in the old train station that attracts my attention. When visiting here, you are brought into another world and shown what life was like in this quaint colonial town during the Victorian era.
On display are a phenomenal array of personal, household and military items as well as many other odd bits and pieces that were accumulated. The ancient clocks, penny farthings, cameras, bed pans and other odd household items give you a small taste of what it may have been like day to day in those times. I couldn’t imagine it, not with all the advanced technology we have now.
The other scary and yet extremely interesting items included the dentistry equipment, of course without those very old fashioned tools, we wouldn’t have developed so far in this field, but if you see them, you simply couldn’t imagine a dentist looming over your face, bringing one of those items anywhere close to your mouth.
There is also a set up of an old cut throat barbers shop in the museum and an apothecary that is filled with magnificent furniture and a number of jars with its original contents, an scary set of medical tools, scales and mortar and pestles.
The dresses they wore in those times were beautiful, although they look incredibly heavy and uncomfortable, they do have a certain elegance about them. If you are after a glimpse of old war items, crazy contraptions and domestic inventions, they have all of those here too.
There is something interesting at every turn and on completion of your tour, you will be tempted to take a second walk around to take yet another peek into the past.
Contact Details and Address:
Address: Matjiesfontein train station, Matjiesfontein, off N1, Karoo
Telephone: +27 (0)23 561-3011
Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 08h00 to 17h00
Useful Planning Pages
- Matjiesfontein Accommodation
- Karoo Attractions
- Things to Do in Karoo
- Karoo Accommodation
- Western Cape Accommodation