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August 25, 2009

Simon’s Town Museum preserves a haunting history


Simon’s Town, photo courtesy Andy Carter

Only the brave – and imaginative – can stand the cries of prisoners and slaves who can still be heard to this day in the basement punishment cell of “The Residency”, built in 1777 for the Governor of the Cape. The whiplash marks remain on the ceiling of the cell, which is now part of Simon’s Town Museum.

If that doesn’t have you shaking in your boots, the museum has an oil painting which fails to appear in photos when they are developed.

It comes as no surprise that the building has such a rich history as it’s been transformed through time into a magistrate’s court, school, jail, post office, hospital and more. Today it also houses artefacts of the early inhabitants of Simon’s Bay and tools and equipment used by the South Peninsula Khoisan people.

Should the horror stories of the museum prove to be too much, there is plenty more to explore in Simon’s Town.

Visit the nearby Quayside Mall for some shopping and take a break in one of the numerous coffee shops, such as Bertha’s Coffee Shop and Pub on 1 Wharf Road. Take a stroll down to Boulders Beach, where you’ll be greeted by African penguins that will happily swim with you, and end the day off with a meal and a sundowner cocktail at Seaforth Restaurant, situated on Seaforth Beach adjacent to Boulders Beach.

Simon’s Town Museum is open:

Monday to Friday:10h00 – 16h00
Saturdays: 10h00 – 13h00
Sundays and public holidays:11h00 – 15h00

For more information on tours and lectures email stmuseums@mweb.co.za.

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