Darling Museum

Darling Museum

The town's butter industry is recorded and detailed in this museum, which also contains domestic artefacts and local art. Darling Museum recreates life in a bygone era with fascinating displays of Victorian clothing, kitchen implements, china and household furniture. Many of the historic farm names and homesteads still exist and the signal cannon that now has pride of place in front of the Darling Museum, was erected on Klipberg in 1734 to warn burghers of impending danger.


The museum was founded in 1978 by the Darling branch of the Women´s Agricultural Association to preserve the butter-making history of Darling. It has grown to reflect the lifestyle and growth of the village over the century and a half since it was founded in 1853.There is an old classroom, complete with small wooden desks, inkwells, slates and schoolbooks and photographs of events at the old school in Darling.

A traditional kitchen has an old Dover stove, a collection of laundry irons and all the seemingly now quaint kitchen tools that were used in a non-electric kitchen. The original butter-making section contains different types of large old wooden churns and unique wooden butter washing machines. The `Ouma´s Treasures´ museum shop is a treasure trove of kitchen collectables, bric-a-brac, Darling crafts and home-produced goods such as jams, preserves, liqueurs and farm butter.

In 1989 the Museum was moved to its present home in the old Town Hall (1899) in Pastorie Street and expanded to reflect the lifestyle and growth of the village over the century and a half since its beginnings in 1853.

The Museum recreates life in a bygone era with fascinating displays of Victorian clothing, china and household furniture. A traditional kitchen complete with hearth contains many ingenious gadgets intended to make the life of a Victorian housewife easier.

The Agricultural hall portrays the history of farming in the area which gained impetus in 1800 when William Duckitt and his family were brought out from Surrey, England to improve local farming methods. His granddaughter, Hildegonda Duckitt was a cook and hostess of renown who wrote various cookery books and "The Diary of a Cape Housekeeper" in which she describes the activities on the farm for each month of the year.

There is a large Agricultural section showing old farm equipment and tools. This display includes a fascinating Day Book written in beautiful copperplate by G.R. Ruperti detailing the daily activities on his farm Klawervlei in 1890. Winter Warmers, a selection of talks/slideshows on historic subjects are held regularly during the cooler months and at an annual Crafters Day held in May, age-old crafts such as quilting, spinning & weaving, butter making, metal forging, etc are demonstrated to visitors.

Darling is famous for its wildflowers and since 1917 the annual Darling Wildflower show is held by the Darling Wildflower Society, founded in 1915 by Mrs. Suzanne Malan and Mr. Frederick Duckitt of Waylands. The Hildebrand Monument is the Memorial to the Field Cornet C.P. Hildebrand of the Boer forces under Maritz's command. Darling was the most southern village to which the Boers penetrated during the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902).

Darling Museum Opening Hours:
Information Centre
Mon-Thurs: 9h00-13h00 & 14h00-16h00
Friday: 9h00-13h00 & 14h00-15h30
Sat, Sun: 10h00-13h00 & 14h00-16h00
(Closed Easter, Christmas and New Year)

Entrance fees: R5-00 per adult; R2-00 per scholar and free for pre-school children.

Location and Contact:
Darling Museum

Visiting Address: Cnr Pastorie & Hill Street, Darling 7345, Darling Of Cape Town district, South Africa
Postal Address: Private Bag X1, Darling 7345, South Africa
Contact Person: Dianne le Roux
Tel: +27 (0) 22 492 3361
Fax: +27 (0) 22 492 2935
Email: i...@darlingtourism.co.za
Website: www.darlingtourism.co.za
Darling Museum in the old Town Hall (1899) in Pastorie Street


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