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The Klerksdorp Museum

  • A buggy & a communion wagon, part of the Museum's extensive collection of animal drawn transport. 
  • Rock Art Exhibition. 
  • Some of the Khoi-Khoi rock art & San attire in the Pioneer Exhibition. 
  • Colourful new Exhibition celebrating the vibrant cultural heritage of South Africans of Indian descent. 
  • Pioneer Exhibition celebrating the cultural heritage of the early San, Khoi-Khoi, Tswana & Voortrekker inhabitants of the KOSH area. 
  • Prison kitchen exhibition, featuring the original stove & cauldrons used to prepare meals for the inmates from days when the current Museum building was still the Klerksdorp Prison. 
  • A variety of prison uniforms & utensils on display. 
  • The main passage in the Museum. The original prison cell doors today offer access to various Museum exhibitions. 

The Klerksdorp Museum

The Klerksdorp Museum is housed in the Old Klerksdorp Prison. The first Klerksdorp prison was built with raw clay-bricks and the doors were seldom locked. Due to the absence of a hospital in Klerksdorp, patients were sometimes sent to this prison for treatment during the 1880's.

After the discovery of gold, scores of fortune hunters flocked to the new gold fields during 1886-1888. It soon became necessary to construct a new and more efficient prison. A new building was designed by Sytze Wierda, the famous Dutch-born architect of the Z.A.R. who also designed many other state buildings still existing today in Church Square (Pretoria), Klerksdorp (the railway station), Johannesburg and Krugersdorp. The new sandstone prison building was completed in 1891. During the Second War of Independence (Anglo Boer War 1899-1902), when Klerksdorp was alternately occupied by British and Boer forces, the building was also used for detention of prisoners of war.

No executions took place in this gaol throughout its long history, it being used as a prison until May 1973. In 1978 the facilities were reopened as a Cultural History Museum celebrating the heritage of the people of our area. Today, the Klerksdorp Museum offers an interesting overview of the cultural heritage of all the people who call City of Matlosana home. Apart from the prison exhibitions (that portray life in a typical Apartheid era prison) the visitor can also look forward to viewing interesting and modern exhibitions celebrating the culture of all of the people who contributed to building the city to what it is today.

A rock art exhibition unique in the whole of North West Province celebrates aspects of the cultural life of the ancient Khoi-Khoi and San people who lived here for thousands of years, while a modern new exhibition that opened in July 2022 celebrates the cultural legacy of the early pioneers of this area (the San, Khoi-Khoi, Tswana and Voortrekkers). The Museum visitor can also expect to view a large selection of horse, mule and ox drawn vehicles from the 19th Century, while a vibrant, recently modernised exhibition celebrates the colourful culture of South Africans of Indian descent. Then, the Museum also has a very interesting Anglo Boer War exhibition highlighting the strife that led to the birth of a modern South Africa and featuring the Peace Negotiations that took place in April 1902 on the banks of the Skoonspruit, close to where the N12 today crosses the stream. Finally, the Warders House situated on the Museum grounds, offers a unique view into the household lives of people from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Guided tours of the Museum can be arranged for groups of 5 persons or more upon prior appointment from Mondays to Saturdays within these operating hours. The Museum also offers live blacksmith demonstrations 3-4 times a year and the public are advised to keep an eye open for these events being announced in public media.

For more information please see our Facebook page: (Click here).

Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 16:30
Saturday: 8:30 - 11:45
Sundays: 14:00 - 17:00

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