The Big Hole
The Kimberley Mine Museum, widely known as the “Big Hole”, is currently undergoing a major facelift, involving the upgrading of the existing museum facilities coupled to the establishment of a modern visitor’s centre.
A visit to the “Big Hole” will encompass two distinct experiences:
Diamond Rush will reflect the history of Kimberley through the museological depiction of times past, including living conditions, entertainment experiences as well as trade and industry.
The new Diamond World experience will showcase the unique attraction of diamonds, reflecting mining, recovery, display and retail components. Visitors will be taken through all aspects of the magic of diamonds, from creation, how diamonds are recovered, treated, cut and polished, through to sales and marketing.
The McGregor Museum
The McGregor Museum, literally offers you everything from A (Archaeology) to Z (Zoology). Add to this the wide scope of other research disciplines like Botany, Cultural History, Documents and Archives, Education, Ethnology, Living History and Rock Art, and we’ve covered the whole spectrum! This museum is definitely worth a visit – be it virtual or real.
The William Humphrey’s Art Gallery
One of the finest in the country, the William Humphreys Art Gallery is situated in scenic gardens and is the cultural oasis of the Northern Cape.
Come and browse through the tranquil setting and view the treasured paintings by Dutch, British, Flemish and French Masters and an outstanding collection of South African works. Our temporary display programme is challenging and exciting. Visit the Gallery Shop for that special gift, guided tours are by arrangement, and audio visual presentations available on requests. The Palette Tea Room is open daily and provides breakfasts, lunches and teas for individuals and for groups.
Come and enjoy a warm welcome and air conditioned comfort.
The Magersfontein Battlefield is south of Kimberley and can be reached either via the airport road (31,5km), or by national road via Modder River (47,5km).
With the battle of Magersfontein on 11 December General P A Cronjè and his Boer troops defeated the English. The latter was said to besiege the railway to the north and to relief the besieged Kimberley.
The Magersfontein Battlefield Museum has also been renovated and an excellent new audiovisual display had been installed. Experience the battle with the gun fire as background in a reconstructed trench and watch the fight taking place right in front of your own eyes! The museum exhibition was also modernized and revamped to give the visitor an up to date display of what happened during this battle. Replicas of guns were also placed on the original positions on the various sites in the veld.
From the observation post the whole battlefield lies before you – one can only imagine the oncoming British soldiers and the Boers in their trenches, which are, by the way, clearly visible from the observation post, as is various monuments on the battlefield.
Duggin Cronin Gallery
This building, earlier known as “The Lodge”, was built in 1889. It was owned by J B Currey, manager of the London and South African Exploration Company. Later it became the property of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, who then donated it to the Kimberley City Council on the condition that it must house the Duggan-Cronin Collection.
A M Duggan-Cronin came to Kimberley in 1897 and worked in the De Beers compounds. There he familiarized himself with the different tribes working on the mines and also began to build up a photographic record of them. Later he undertook expeditions to the main tribal areas where he took photographs of the people before the Western influence could drastically change their own traditional lifestyles. These expeditions were made possible through research grants and donations from the Carnegie Trust.
Some of his most popular publications are The Bushman Tribes of Southern Africa and The Bantu Tribes of South Africa (depicting his photographic collection).
The latter consists of about 8000 negatives and photographic prints as well as artifacts of the material culture of the tribes, including beadwork, costumes, pottery, iron tools and woodcarvings.
The McGregor Museum is responsible for the maintenance of the Duggan-Cronin collection, housed in the Duggan-Cronin Gallery, since 1938. At first the building was known as the Duggan-Cronin Bantu Gallery, but the term “Bantu” was dropped from the name in 1986. While “Bantu” was a progressive term for Black people in South Africa at the time of Duggan-Cronin, it has derogatory connotations at the present time.
In 1975 the Trustees of the McGregor Museum have accepted a magnificent offer from Barlow Rand (Edms.) Ltd. to buy and renovate this residence.
The house was designed by the architect D W Greatbatch, and is one of Kimberley’s most elegant houses. It was built at the end of the 19th century and from 1902 it was the residence of the merchant John Orr, whose family stayed here until 1975. The house was then bought, with all its furniture, kitchen utensils, linen, books and photographs – some articles date back to 1902 when the Orr family moved into the house.
The appropriate name means strong fortress and derived from the Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, the birthplace of John Orr.
This estate, earlier generally known as “The Bungalow”, belonged to the mine magnate H P Rudd. In 1970 it was donated to the Museum, and since it has been renovated and used as a historical house museum. The house depicts the luxurious lifestyle of one of the most famous mine magnates in Kimberley’s history, with typical furniture and decorations of that time.
It boasts, amongst others, with a billiard room housing a full-scale billiard table, still in excellent condition. Outside the house one can see a gigantic fig tree with its characteristic thick roots showing above ground level.