Goudkoppie Heritage Hill, North West
Did you know?Seeds from fodder imported from England to feed British horses during the South African War inadvertently introduced the much-loved cosmos flower to South Africa.
Goudkoppie Heritage Hill lies along the N12 Treasure Route where a rippled landscape bears witness to the Vredefort meteorite that crashed to Earth here some two-billion years ago.
At that time an inland sea stretched from today’s Evander Goldfields in the East, through the East Rand, Johannesburg, the West Rand, Carletonville and Klerksdorp to southern Welkom.
Minerals, including gold, were transported by river to the inland sea where they became concentrated into mass layers or conglomerate. These gold-rich layers formed the famous gold reefs of the Witwatersrand.
More layers formed over the year, then around 2 028-million years ago, when the meteorite hit, the area tilted at an angle, and the sea evaporated to reveal the Ada May Reef, today known as Goudkoppie ('little gold hill' in Afrikaans).
Late Stone Age nomadic hunters populated the region about 10 000 years ago, leaving behind stone tools and quartzite tools used as weapons and for engraving.
A few thousand years later African and white settlers arrived, introducing Iron Age influences and ,later, evidence of the Industrial Age.
In 1886 a sample of Witwatersrand conglomerate was confirmed to contain gold, leading to a gold rush. A year later four companies won mining rights on Adamay Hill, but no worthwhile deposits were found. In 1896 the claims were taken up by Klerksdorp Proprietary Mines Limited, using cyanide-extraction methods. Mining materials were removed in 1901, and today only the entrances to the old mine shafts remain.
During the Ango-Boer War in 1899 a British regiment was stationed at Goudkoppie. A regimental badge and soldiers’ initials remain engraved on the rocks, along with foundations of a blockhouse erected to protect the railway line and observe the concentration camp.
Around 70 grass and herb species grow on the hill and many trees and shrubs here have medicinal uses. Walls, cattle kraals and hut foundations of former Tswana/Barolong settlements can be seen today, along with reconstructed huts typical of the 1750s.
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Goudkoppie Heritage Hill
Tel: +27 (0)18 464 2229