Aberdeen Attractions

Aberdeen Information

Situated in the Camdeboo Plains against the backdrop of the Camdeboo Mountains on the N9 between Graaff Reinet and the Garden Route, Aberdeen offers history for the mind and peace for the soul.

The district is renowned for its wool and mohair, being the largest mohair producing area in South Africa. The town has an extremely healthy climate, a restful and rural atmosphere, unpolluted air and unequalled starry night skies.

Aberdeen History

Originally a farm called Brakkefontein, the deeds to the land were signed by Lord Charles Somerset, governor at the Cape, in 1817.

The town of Aberdeen was founded in 1856 and named after the birthplace of the Reverend Andrew Murray in Scotland.

The well kept cemetery is of special interest to historians. Many of the soldiers, both British and Boer, who lost their lives during the Anglo Boer War are buried here. British graves are numbered and the cemetery is open to the public.

Architecture

Aberdeen is a declared architectural conservation town and a veritable repository of styles incuding Victorian, Georgian, Karoo, German, Gothic Revival, Russian, Art Nouveau and Flemish Revival.  Excellent examples of the ostrich baron dwellings can be seen.  Walking tours of the town can be arranged.

Many of the houses are richly decorated and intricately designed with domes, gables, turrets, ‘broekie lace’ and plaster motifs.  A few still sport the once fashionable conservatories constructed of wooden and iron fretwork with richly hued coloured glass.

Of special interest is the Dutch Reformed Church – the 50m tower is claimed to be the highest in South Africa, but it is 18 inches out of true due to the weight of the roof tiles – ‘The Leaning Tower of Aberdeen’.

The huge olive tree in the church garden originates from the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was planted in 1980 to commemorate the church's 125th anniversary having been one of seven cuttings brought to South Africa by Dr Marais of the Institute of Fruit Technology at the request of an Israeli horticulturalist trying to save the dying olive trees in Jerusalem.  The other cuttings are presently untraced.

A unique collection of biblical wall hangings covers the walls of the church hall and guided tours are available by appointment during the day.

"Royal" Graves?

Aberdeen cemetery, of all places, contains two graves having the name Rex, a name more usually associated with Knysna.

Legend has it that the future King George III had an affair (or even a clandestine, morganatic marriage) with a Hannah Lightfoot by whom he was supposed to have had two sons and one daughter.  The story has it that the George Rex associated with Knysna and who came to the Cape in 1775 was one of these sons.

He had a family of his own and some of his descendants later moved to Aberdeen.  Thus Mortimer Frederick Rex might be descended from George Rex and thus might be of Royal descent.  Interestingly, Frederick is also a name that ran in the Hanoverian dynasty; George III's father was Frederick, Prince of Wales.  So, who knows?

Aberdeen Map

The Aberdeen Bed Grave Attractions
The Aberdeen Bed Grave Aberdeen Attractions
Near the roadside between Aberdeen and Graaff-Reinet, in the middle of the veld, lies an old cast iron bedstead. This according to legend is the grave of a woman who took ill and died while the family were trekking by ox-wagon through the Karoo.
The Aberdeen Bed Grave Aberdeen Attractions in Aberdeen
Aberdeen Cemetery Attractions
Aberdeen Cemetery Aberdeen Attractions
Aberdeen's cemetery is a true resting place. Well kept and shaded by Cypress trees, the area is a veritable walk through the history of the town. Looking at the many gravestones and memorials, one can see the periods of illness and those war that...
Aberdeen Cemetery Aberdeen Attractions in Aberdeen
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