Somerset West

A mountain pass built to access the inland from cape Town.

History of Somerset West

Province: Western Cape
Coordinates: 34°05′S 18°51′E
Area: 61.37 km2
Municipality; City of Cape Town

Cattle Post along the Lorens River

In the area of the Lourens River, the Dutch established a cattle post in 1672. The town of Somerset West was established on the farm Vergelegen (Dutch for Far away) At the time the area was called Tweede Rivier, Eerste Rivier flowed through Stellenbosch to the North.
Somerset West was named after Lord Charles Somerset, an English governor of the Cape colony.
In the 1800s after 1825, “West” was added to differentiate it from the other “Somerset” in the Eastern Cape.

Difficult mountain crossings

The first recorded crossing over the mountains into the interior towards where Somerset West lies today, by the settlers was in 1664. By 1821 4500 ox waggons per year trekked over the mountain. However, conditions were so treacherous that more than 20 % were damaged or lost.
There are ruts left by these waggons that can still be seen and they are preserved as National monuments.

Construction of a Mountain Pass

Easier access from the town to outposts inland was gained by the construction of a pass to ensure safe passage. The construction began about 2 km south of The Hottentots Holland Kloof. The engineer Charles Michell used convict labour to complete the pass which opened in 1830. It was named after Lowry Cole who was the Governor of the Cape Colony at the time

The license plate prefix for Somerset West is CFM and the postcode is 7130

Things to see and do in Somerset West

WEATHER IN SOMERSET WEST TODAY

SEE ALL LISTINGS IN SOMERSET WEST

Useful Numbers in Somerset West

  • Police: 021 850 1303
  • Traffic department: 021 400 3915
  • Fire: 107 or 480 7700
  • Water:0860 103 089
  • Electricity: 0860 103 089 / 0860 037 566 Eskom
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 021 851 7053
  • Somerset mall post office 021 851 0972
  • Garden village community hall: 021 850 4262
  • Closest hospital; Helderberg hospital 021 850 4700
  • Mediclinic Vergelegen 021 850 9000
  • Library:021 400 2867
  • Somerset West Town Hall: 021 850 4261
  • SPCA:Helderberg animal rescue : 021 852 22268
  • Schools:Somerset West private school: 021 852 8451
  • Somerset West Primary : 021 851 2040
  • Beaumont primary: 021021 851 7124
  • Somerset college: 021 842 8000
  • Helderberg high: 021 855 4949
  • Helderberg primary: 021 855 1482
  • Tourism (0)21 840 1400

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