Originally known as Limiet Vallei (Border or Frontier Valley)

History of Wellington

Province: Western Cape
Coordinates: 33°38′S 18°59′E
Area: 30.16 km2
Municipality: Drakenstein

Huguenot settlement

Wellington was originally known as Limiet Vallei (Border or Frontier Valley) Later towards the end of the 17th century when French Huguenots settled there it was known as Val du Charon or Wagenmakersvallei (Valley of the wagon makers)
When the town was officially established in 1840 the name was changed to Wellington for the Duke of Wellington, conqueror of Napoleon at Waterloo.

The railway line to Cape Town

Wellington grew when the railway line was extended there and a railway station was established. This was the terminus where locomotives turned round and returned to Cape Town with produce brought to Wellington from surrounding farms. Land for the station was donated by the owner of the farm called Versailles. This was on condition that trains would always stop in Wellington


Wellington grew into an important educational and religious centre, credit to Reverend Andrew Murray who was the Dutch Reformed minister from1871 to1906. Several schools and institutions were established here. The Huguenot Seminary opened in 1874. The oldest teacher training college in South Africa  in Wellington opened in 1896.

Early Humans

.Human occupation dating back to the stone age is evident in the area. The first European settlers were mostly French Huguenots who settled in the valley from about 1688 when they were granted land by Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape at the time. There was a need for produce and the farms provided a buffer against the indigenous people.

Road building with Andrew Geddes Bain

When Andrew Geddes Bain was working on the Michells pass in the 1840s he began to consider a pass through the Wellington mountains. On the completion of the Michells pass in 1848 his team was moved to Wellington where construction began not only on the road but also a hospital, school and other essential buildings. (Bainskloof pass)
Work started in 1849 with a workforce consisting mainly of convicts. The pass was opened in 1853 and is still used today. It became a national monument in 1980.
The South African Dried Fruit industry has its headquarters in Wellington where it began in 1890.
Other things Wellington is famous for are: until recently the only piano factory in the Southern Hemisphere which was established by a German immigrant, Mr Dietman, and the leather tannery which was established by JH Coaten a Yorkshireman in 1871.

Man in the mountain

Hawequa is a word associated with a unique occurrence where once a year a “man in the mountain”  can be seen walking in the towering outcrops. The figure stands tall and appears to be looking out over the valley. It appears in the mountains over Bain’s Kloof Pass in the late afternoon at the time of the equinox.

To the Khoisan, the figure was revered and believed to guard the mountains he still visits the mountain twice a year to watch over the valley.

The license plate prefix for Wellington is and the postal codes are 7655(streets) and 7644 (boxes)

Things to do and see in Wellington

  • Bain’s Kloof pass
  • Bobejaansrivier trail
  • Rockhopper trail
  • Blockhouse on the banks of the Berg Riveron the farm Versaillesis the Southernmost fort built.
  • Bobbejaansrivier trail is a beautiful trail best enjoyed in summer
  • Mount Bain rock art trail. This 1.3-km loop trail is generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 46 min to complete. It is only 1.3 km with an elevation gain of 163 mRoute   There is a rich legacy of rock art in this area.
  • Wild boar MTB trails
  • Free heritage trail walking tour
  • Wellington Parkrun at Imbuko Wines, Off Bo Dal Rd, Wellington, every Saturday at 8.00 am


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Useful Numbers

  • Municipality – Toll-free Number: 080 131 3553 (Drakenstein)
  • Police: 021 864 8440
  • Traffic department: 021 807 6289
  • Fire: 021 873 1121
  • Water: 021 807 4715
  • Electricity: 021 807 4660
  • Ambulance: 021 872 1979.
  • Post office; 021 873 1377
  • Library: 021 807 6263
  • Closest hospital;Primary Healthcare Clinic; 021 873 0975
  • Wellington Community Day Centre-021 864 9700
  • Pharmacy; Essential Health Pharmacy – 021 873 2569
  • SPCA: 021 864 3726 Facebook page
  • Schools:

Huguenot High School / Hugenote Hoërskool-021 873 2111
Wellington High School-021 873 6427
Hugenote Primary School-021 873 1362
Wellington Primary School-021 873 2321
Hugo Rust Laerskool-021 873 1598
Hillcrest Primary School-021 873 4145
Pauw Gedenk Primary-021 873 2401,
Bergrivier High School-021 873 2301
Weltevrede Secondary School-021 873 1559
Newton Primary School-021 873 2638
Wellington Preparatory School-021 864 3369
Saint Albans Primary School-021 873 2441
Huguenot Gr.R – Doemsie Campus-021 873 3191
Wellington School of Skills-021 873 1068
Blouvlei Primary School-(021) 864-2110

  • Museum; Church Street,; 021 873-4710
  • Tourism; 021 873 4604



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