01 May 2024

History of Milnerton and Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

The old Wooden Bridge (in daily use) - Woodbridge Island  (Circa 1977)

The Wooden Bridge (in daily use) - WoodBridge Island  (Circa 1977)
 From The History of Milnerton by Eric Rosenthal Page 59 (Photo: Johan Du Plessis)

Suburb of Milnerton, Cape Town
The Cape Town suburb of Milnerton was established in 1902 on the site of the old farm, Janbiesjeskraal, and was named in honour of Sir Alfred Milner, Cape Governor 1897-1901. The railway line from Milnerton Junction reached Milnerton on 22 September 1904.
Source: SA History Museum

Exploring Milnerton’s Rich History >> TableTalk

History of Milnerton by Eric Rosenthal (1980)

Free PDF Book Download: History of Milnerton >>

Book / PDF Book Chapters

  • Township in the Wilderness 
  • Wartime Worries 
  • Sales Campaign 
  • The Coming of the Railway 
  • An Old Time Outing 
  • A Rugby 'Ground' and other Schemes 
  • A Racecourse is Born 
  • Travelling Salesmen 
  • Better Times 
  • Shaping a Community 
  • The First World War and After 
  • Housing Schemes 
  • The First Local Board 
  • The 'Winton' 
  • A Leap Forward 
  • Another World War 
  • Chances for Ex-Soldiers 
  • Scheme for a Municipality 
  • The New Town 
  • Municipal Advance 
  • Table View and other Expansion 
  • Residential Growth 
  • Civic Spirit 
  • Black, Brown and White 
  • Planning Ahead 
  • Milnerton – Today 

Published by the Milnerton Municipality

Design and Art Direction Credit: Bob Baker, Cape Town

Colour Photography (Image Credit): Johan du Plessis, Cape Town

Draft Plan (with Images) for The Milnerton Wooden Bridge, Woodbridge Island 2008
The Wooden Bridge (Erf 20315 Milnerton) Heritage Statement & Conservation Management Plan Prepared in Compliance with Section 27 of the National Heritage Resource Act Act (NHTA) June 2008 View Draft Plan >>

Milnerton, Cape Town Historical Society Facebook Group 

Image from The History of Milnerton by Eric Rosenthal (1980)
Historic Milnerton Map

Additional Facts about Milnerton, Cape Town
"Milnerton is a suburb located on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. It is situated along the Atlantic Ocean coastline, approximately 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) north of Cape Town's city centre. Milnerton is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning views of Table Mountain, and its proximity to various attractions.

History of Milnerton, a charming suburb in Cape Town:

"Origins and Naming:

  • Milnerton was established in 1902 on the site of the old farm called Janbiesjeskraal.
  • The suburb was named in honor of Sir Alfred Milner, who served as the Cape Governor from 1897 to 1901.
  • The railway line from Milnerton Junction reached Milnerton on September 22, 1904.
  • With the arrival of the railway, the area began to grow steadily.

Geographical Beauty and Amenities

  • Milnerton is situated approximately 11 kilometers from Cape Town’s city center.
  • It is the oldest of the suburbs along the northern Table Bay.
  • The suburb boasts stunning properties, a shimmering lagoon, and a golf course.
  • From a residential perspective, Milnerton offers spectacular views over the bay toward Table Mountain.
  • The area is well-served with an active commercial center, booming residential areas along the coastline, and ample entertainment options.

Recreational Activities and Landmarks

  • Milnerton is a popular spot for various water activities:
    • Jet skiing
    • Surfing
    • Bodyboarding
    • Rafting down the lagoon
    • Fishing and prawn fishing
    • Canoe paddling on the lagoon (canoeists enjoy both the view and the adventure)

  • Notable attractions include:
    • Zonnekus: The beautiful Dutch home built in 1929 on Woodbridge Island.
    • Milnerton Golf Course
    • Milnerton Lighthouse: A 21-meter-high cylindrical tower with a revolving electric optic that produces over 800,000 candela. It was completed in March 1960 and has a long history.
    • Milnerton’s beach, known for its spectacular views of Table Mountain and superb cleanliness due to regular patrols and waste bins.

Shipwrecks and Maritime History

  • Interestingly, the coastline from Green Point to Milnerton has witnessed the wrecking of over 150 ships—more than any other coastline in South Africa!

Milnerton’s rich history, natural beauty, and recreational offerings make it a delightful place to explore and reside." (Source: Microsoft Copilot)

Some notable features and attractions in Milnerton, Cape Town, include:

1. Milnerton Beach: This expansive sandy beach offers breathtaking views of Table Mountain and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach sports. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the ocean scenery.

2. Milnerton Golf Club: As mentioned earlier, Milnerton Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in South Africa. It offers a challenging 18-hole course with stunning views of Table Mountain and the surrounding area.

3. Canal Walk Shopping Centre: Located adjacent to Milnerton, Canal Walk is one of Africa's largest shopping malls. It features a wide range of stores, boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it a popular destination for shopping and leisure activities.

4. Woodbridge Island: Woodbridge Island is a residential area situated in Milnerton, known for its scenic canals, beachfront homes, and views of Table Mountain. It is a peaceful and picturesque neighborhood worth exploring.

5. Rietvlei Wetland Reserve: Rietvlei is a nature reserve situated in the Milnerton area. It is home to various bird species and offers walking trails, bird hides, and picnic spots for visitors to enjoy the natural surroundings.

6. Milnerton Lighthouse: The iconic Milnerton Lighthouse, located on Woodbridge Island, is a historic landmark that adds to the charm of the area. It has been a navigation aid for ships entering Table Bay since 1960.

Milnerton is well-connected to Cape Town's city centre and other suburbs through major roadways, such as the N1 and N7 highways. It offers a mix of residential areas, commercial establishments, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities, making it an attractive destination for both residents and visitors in Cape Town." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

Woodbridge Island Bridges View 

Milnerton Lighthouse Woodbridge Island View 

Table Mountain Cape Town From Milnerton View

Poor Water / Sewage Management into the Milnerton Lagoon  / Woodbridge Island View

The Wooden Bridge Today - Woodbridge Island, Milnerton Cape Town (Photo: Vernon Chalmers)
The old Wooden Bridge - Woodbridge Island, Milnerton Cape Town (Photo: Vernon Chalmers)

Vernon Chalmers Photography Popular Posts