This 'Place of the Little Elephant' is at the hub of a network of roads leading to Colenso, Mooi River, Stanger, Pietermaritzburg and Dundee. The town boasts a wealth of Victorian architecture...and the surrounding scenery ranges from rolling fields of sugarcane to timber plantations and hills covered in aloe and euphorbia.
Battles and Sites
Bhambatha, a chief of the Zondi tribe living just North of Greytown, had been suspended from his chieftainship early in 1906. it is alleged that Dinuzulu encouraged him to resist the authorities. In 1906 a poll tax, instead of the prevailing hut tax, was imposed on the local Zulus. These and other incidents caused Bhambatha to rebel and a number of other chiefs followed suit. A column of police was dispatched to collect three settler women and a child at Mpanza and Keates Drift and bring them to safety. On their journey on 4 April 1906, four policemen, Trooper Aston and his dog were killed at Ambush Rock, on the Dundee road outside Greytown.
Colonial forces were called up and Bhambatha and his men were trapped and killed in the Mome Gorge. This engagement virtually ended the rebellion, which had led to the death of approximately three and a half thousand people. Bhambatha is considered to be one of the forerunners of the Freedom Struggle in South Africa.
Monuments & Memorials
Graves Sarie Marais and Aya Jana:
Off D479 on Stanger Road. To view, Tel: (033) 444 1784. Sarie Marais died 37 days after Christmas having 11th child - inspiration for famous song.
Bambathe 1906 Police Memorial:
In memory of the four policemen and Trooper Aston and his dog, who were killed at Ambush Rock on the 4 April 1906.
Greytown Museum and Community Tourism Information Centre:
Open Mon - Fri8:00am - 4:00pm. After hours by appointment.
Tel: (033) 413 1171 ext 2224
Fax: (033) 417 1393
Situated in historical monument (old magistrates residency and former home of General Louis Botha's sister). Crammed with memorabilia from Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer Wars, Bhambatha Rebellion, WWI and WWII as well as the Liberation Struggle. Victorian children, Voortrekker, Hindu and Muslim and Zulu Cultural rooms. Farming, steam engines, blacksmith's forge and coach house.
Situated in old mission house. Reflects early missionary life plus Zulu culture, blacksmith's forge. German spoken. In grounds of Hermannsburg school. Open Mon-Fri 9:00am to 12:00pm. Tel: (033) 445 0601 (w) x34 (h) x 52.After hour by appointment.
Other Cultural Attractions
Greytown Town Hall:
Designer Street Wilson - Foundation stone 1897 opened 1904. Laager for town people Bhambatha Rebellion and 73 day trial of King Dinizulu for role he played in rebellion.
Oldest in Greytown. Built 1877 Gothic style.
Built 1946 to replace original of 1898. Recalls Prof Lakhi and his Kufi writings.
Shri Vishnu Mandir Temple:
1973 old temple of 1910 demolished. Lotus flower on dome symbolizes spiritual life.
St Theodore's Roman Catholic Church:
St Dominic's convent once attached - closed in 1967. Church built 1915 on land donated by Maj Theodore Menne.
St James Anglican Church:
Built 1911 to replace original of 1867. Archway and family stained glass windows from England. Altar sculptures famous Mary Stainbank. Carnegie donated organ. Plaques and colours commemorate Anglo-Zulu war, Anglo-Boer war, Bhambatha Rebellion and both world wars. Nave columns bath in England. Designer - Street Wilson.
Dutch Reformed Church Bell:
Original church 1856 destroyed by cyclone. Second opened 1883. Bell bought 1861 source of one altercation between followers of Bishop Macrorie and Bishop Colenso as services were interrupted by the Bell. Stolen and buried for 73 years. Subsequently found and now hangs archway Dutch reformed church. A stone and 2 yellow wood trees commemorate centenary Ossewa Trek 1938.
Leuchars Memorial Hall:
Constructed from stone from original court house. Paid for by Sir George Leuchars minister Agriculture during first South African parliament 1910.
Umvoti Mounted Rifles Hall:
1880 - next to Theodore Menne library. Originally Masonic Hall. Headquarters of regiment. Now used by PWD.
Remnants of these are Fort Cherry, Fort Ahrens, Fort Buckingham and Wolftrap, Mispah and Bangough. Most were used during Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and reused in the Bhambatha Rebellion.
Louis Botha's Birthplace:
General Louis Botha was the first Prime Minister of South Africa and was a famous Boer leader. He was born on the farm Honeyfontein, which is 5km south of Greytown.