Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga
|• Total||25.40 km2 (9.81 sq mi)|
|• Density||68/km2 (180/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||93.4%|
|First languages (2011)|
|• Northern Sotho||50.4%|
After it was officially declared a gold field in September 1873, the town suddenly grew to 1,500 inhabitants searching for alluvial gold. Towards the end of the 19th century claims were bought up and underground mining started by the company known as TGME. Mining was closed down in 1971 and the village sold to the government as a national museum. Transvaal Gold Minings Estates, currently part of the listed Simmers and Jack, started gold mining again in 1998. The town’s original architecture remains largely unchanged since then, because the town was declared a National Monument now a provincial heritage site in 1986.
Also at the graveyard, every single grave was laid facing in the same direction, except for the famous Robber’s Grave which is laid perpendicular to the rest, emblazoned simply with a cross and the large type words of Robbers Grave. It is said that his grave was laid out that way so that could not see the rising sun.
One report states that it is the grave of a robber who was shot stealing a tent from one of the miners. A tent represented a "home" so was the most valuable of any individuals belongings, stealing this tent was a most grievous crime and the punishment was meted out in the extreme. Another report states that the robber instead stole a wheel barrow.
Potential World Heritage Status
- Coins of the South African pound
- Mabin, A.S. & Pirie, G.H. The township question at Pilgrims Rest, 1894–1922. South African Historical Journal, 17 (1985), 64–83.
- Pirie, G.H. Public administration in Pilgrims Rest, 1915–1969. Contree, 20 (1986), 27–32.
- "Main Place Pilgrim's Rest". Census 2011.
- Media related to Pilgrim's Rest at Wikimedia Commons
- Pilgrim's Rest Reduction Works Industrial Heritage Site - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
- Pilgrims Rest Website