History of Sea Point

Province; Western Cape
Coordinates; 33°54′55″S “18°23′33″E
Area; 1.58 km2
Municipality; City of Cape Town

Captain Cook’s men named Sea Point

Sam Wallis,  one of the commanders serving under Captain Cook encamped with his men in this area which he called Sea Point in 1767. They stayed there to avoid an epidemic of smallpox in Cape Town at the time.
Around that time also, on the slopes of Signal Hill, there was a men’s club which was a place of entertainment for the Free Burgers, VOC officials and visiting Europeans. A residential suburb grew in the early 1800s and was inhabited mostly by European settlers.

in 1839 was merged into a single municipality with neighbouring Green Point. Some of the first settlers in the area were the  Le Sueur family from Bayeux in Normandy.
François Le Sueur arrived in 1739 as spiritual advisor to Cape Governor Hendrik Swellengrebel.
The family’s estate, was calledWinterslust, which originally covered 200 acres on the slopes of Signal Hill. The estate was later named Fresnaye.

Tramway to Sea Point

A tramline that also linked to Camps Bay was opened in 1862 and the railway line reached Sea Point in 1905. In 1877 the Cape Town and Green Point Tramway company built houses for their employees who were of diverse colours and cultures, when the company folded in 1895 other people moved into the area. While there was always some segregation Sea Point has always been home to both “coloured” and white people.

More forced removals

In 1902, the Native Reserve Locations Act was passed and all black men living in council accommodation in Sea Point were forcibly removed to the Docks Location and the order to remove all other people of colour was made in 1957.

Sea Point Baths

The Sea Point baths were opened in 1895, the baths were for white people only and had separate bathing times for men and women. They were filled at low tide with the use of a centrifugal gas-powered pump The baths were sadly destroyed by a storm in 1911 and were never rebuilt, however, construction started on the Sea Point pavilion in 1913. Entertainment offered included a tea room and an outdoor cinema. The pavilion was renovated to accommodate more people and is not the same as it was back then.


The promenade

Today the Sea Point promenade is a venue for local artists to exhibit and it is frequented by locals and visitors soaking the sun and enjoying the outdoors.


 Charles Darwin’s Rocks

Next to the parking lot at the South-end of Queens Beach, near the intersection of Beach and Alexander Roads,  these striking rocks are considered a ‘geological wonder.’ They represent an impressive ‘contact’ from about 540 million years ago between granite and the sedimentary rock that forms Signal Hill. They were discovered by Clark Abel in 1818, they are named after Charles Darwin who visited them on his worldwide journey in 1836. He was intrigued by what he saw and decided to stay at the Cape of Good Hope, the second-longest of all his stops during his five-year voyage

The five white horses on the grass of Sea Point’s promenade are a permanent art sculpture commissioned by the City of Cape

The postcodes for Sea Point are 8005 (streets) and 8060 (boxes)

Things to see and do in Sea Point


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Useful Numbers in Seapoint

  • Police: 021 430 3700
  • Traffic department: Gallows Hill Traffic Department-0860 103 089
  • Fire: 021 434 2020
  • Water: 0860 103 089
  • Electricity: 0860 103 089
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office;021 434 2315
  • Library:021 400 4184
  • Closest hospital; Sea Point Medical Centre- 021 439 4497
  • Sea point civic centre: 021 400 3647
  • Pharmacy; Sunset Pharmacy-021 434 3333
  • SPCA: 021 700 4140
  • Schools
    Sea Point High School-021 434 9141
    Sea Point Montessori Pre-primary School-083 944 9772
    Herzlia Weizmann Primary School-021 286 3901
    French School Cape Town-021 434 1278
  • Ratepayers association: 083 3888 226

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