Fransie Pienaar Museum


About Fransie Pienaar Museum

Fransie Pienaar Museum

The antiques and artifacts were collected largely by Fransie Pienaar but the collection is still growing through donations from past and present inhabitants of Prince Albert.

The Museum has a wide variety of displays including :

  • Information about Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert and a book of his speeches presented to the village by Her Majesty.
  • A fascinating fossil exhibition based upon Roy Oosthuizen's collection
  • An extensive collection of Musical Instruments, Glass, Porcelain, Earthenware and Paintings.
  • A delightful Bedroom filled with old fashioned furnishings and a Nursery corner
  • A Gunroom with some fascinating weapons
  • Details of our Watermill History
  • A Medical Section depicting our doctors and the hospital's history
  • Displays about the construction of the Swartberg Pass, the history of Gamkaskloof and Meiringspoort and our 1890's Gold Rush
  • We have some lovely Victorian clothing, needlework items and a kitchen display to delight young and old alike.
  • Local artists, including Gawie Beukes and Outa Lappies are well represented.
  • Intricately carved woodwork by Piet Basson, local benefactor.

Our library/archive includes local diaries and valuable historical records about the Central Karoo and the Swartberg.

In the grounds we have a horse-drawn hearse, a wagon and several carts, various pieces of farm equipment, a winepress and beautiful gardens.

Our shop stocks a wide selection of books about the village and the district, olive products and the Museum's own 'witblits'

Fransie Pienaar

The entire collection at the Fransie Pienaar Museum is based upon Fransie's own collection

Born on Lammerkraal in 1897, Fransie was educated locally and then went to Cape Town to study at the Sullivan College of Music. She returned to the district to marry Giddy Pienaar and when her father died she and Giddy took over Lammerkraal. Fransie was a magpie and she started collecting antiques and odds and ends to the extent that when she and Giddy retired to Prince Albert in 1956 an entire room of their home was dedicated to her collection.

Being in town gave Fransie more opportunities to acquire "little things" and soon she needed more room! The Dutch Reformed Church lent her a hall in Devenish Street - which gave her more scope, but by 1972 she couldn't get another thing into the hall. By now one of Fransie's sons-in-law, Frikkie Allers was the mayor and he persuaded the local council to lend Fransie a house in Kerkstraat to house the collection. On the day of the official opening she gave everything to the people of Prince Albert.

Since then the collection has grown and has moved to its present premises in the Haak family home which served the village as a hospital for some years.

Fransie was the unofficial curator for some years and enjoyed nothing more than showing visitors round the building. She would provide musical entertainment on the harmonium (bought in memory of her brother - who had died on the day Fransie was born) or on her mouth organ. She died at the grand old age of 87 and is gratefully remembered by one and all.

Witblits (Moonshine)

The Museum has its own distillery where 'witblits' is produced in the time-honoured manner. Hendrick Mostert, our last 'stoker' was born in Gamkaskloof and wrote a book, in collaboration with Dr Jan van Elfen, about herbal remedies and the use of witblits in the valley.

Bokkie Botha, Jeremy Freemantle and Judy Maguire have taken over as our local 'stokers' to keep this special tradition alive.

Herbal and Witblits can be bought at the Museum shop.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday

09.30- 12.30 &

14.00 - 16.30


09.30 - 12.00

Sunday 10.30 - 12.00

Closed: Public Holidays

Directions to Fransie Pienaar Museum

GPS : 33° 13' 28.85" S / 22° 1' 49.19" E

Fransie Pienaar Museum liesat 42 Kerk Street opposite the double storey building with 7 arches on the ground floor.

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